Each year, the UnidosUS Annual Conference brings more than 1,500 leaders together from around the country to discuss the most pressing issues that are affecting the Latino community, and to be inspired by speakers and expert-led sessions to continue creating change across the country.
This year, the Conference was in San Diego. We were treated to more than 25 cutting-edge workshops, three expert-led plenary sessions, and five general sessions. In case you didn’t get to join us in San Diego this year, you can check out more about our general sessions and watch them below.
The 2019 National Affiliate Luncheon
The first general session of the UnidosUS Annual Conference was the National Affiliate Luncheon. The session’s theme was transforming communities, a fitting tribute to our nearly 300 community-based Affiliates, who gather together at the luncheon to celebrate the work that they have been able to accomplish for the Latino community over the past year.
Affiliates are also recognized during the annual Affiliate roll call. This year the roll call was led by UnidosUS Board Chair Maria S. Salinas and Fernando Godinez, Chair of the UnidosUS Affiliate Council.
As part of the luncheon, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía delivered her annual address on the state of the Latino community. In the address, she stresses that our community has been confronted by a hostile administration and that we must rely on our own strength and unity to advocate for opportunities in America.
This year’s featured speaker was Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU.
To watch the National Affiliate Luncheon, click the link below.
The 2019 Latinas Brunch
The Latinas Brunch has consistently been one of the most popular events at our Annual Conference for the past 25 years. The Brunch’s theme was power and influence, and it celebrates Latina strength and power, with a focus on those that are breaking barriers in industries across the country. The session was hosted by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía and UnidosUS Board Chair Maria S. Salinas.
This year’s featured speakers were Nicole Taylor, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Gloria Calderon Kellet, writer and co-showrunner of One Day at a Time; and Paola Mendoza, artist, film maker, and organizer of the Women’s March.
The Brunch included a performance by Mariachi Las Altenas, an all-female mariachi group.
To watch the Latinas Brunch, click the link below.
The 2019 Monday Breakfast
This year’s Monday Breakfast’s theme was leading into the future—a fitting theme for an annual event that’s geared toward the youth in our community and the issues that matter the most to them. The Monday Breakfast’s emcees are the co-hosts of LatinX Now!, Christian Acosta and Claudia Vergara.
We heard from the Kevin Falcouner, the Mayor of San Diego, and Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State at the top of our program. Our featured speakers also included Francia Raisa, an actress in Grown-ish, and Chelsea Rendon, an actress in Vida.
To watch the Monday Breakfast, click the link below.
The 2019 Monday Luncheon
Each year, our Monday Luncheon focuses on the topic of civic engagement. The theme of this year’s Monday Luncheon was Vision 2020: A Conversation with the Candidates, which featured five of the nine top Democratic candidates for president—former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.
During the 2018 midterms, we saw a record turnout for the Latino vote. Our community will continue to be key decisionmakers in elections going forward, and it’s important that we all be informed about the candidates on both sides of the aisle to make our voices heard.
To watch the Monday Luncheon, click the link below:
The 2019 Awards Gala
The Awards Gala is the final general session of each Annual Conference. It is an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the work of extraordinary leaders that have been working hard to create change for our communities across the United States.
Marielena Hincapieé received the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award for her tireless work as an advocate for immigrant and workers’ rights. The Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award is awarded to the individual or organization who has made significant contributions to promoting the interests of Hispanic Americans.
The Maclovio Barrazza Award for Leadership was awarded to the San Diego Rapid Response Network, and was accepted by Norma Chavez-Peterson, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and Dana Toppel, Acting CEO of Jewish Family Service of San Diego. This award recognizes those who have worked for the betterment of the Hispanic community at the grassroots level and whose leadership has been a source of strength and inspiration to the Hispanic community. The San Diego Rapid Response Network, which includes local UnidosUS Affiliates such as San Ysidro Health, Casa Familiar, and MAAC Project, works to help migrants orient themselves when they find themselves in San Diego.
David Begnaud, Lead National Correspondent for CBS This Morning, received the Ruben Salazar Award for Communications. The Ruben Salazar Award for Communications goes to an individual who has devoted their professional life to disseminating important issues, concerns, or news to the Latino community, and presented the positive contributions that Latinos make to U.S. society. Begnaud was recognized for his groundbreaking coverage of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award was given to Daniel R. Ortega, Jr., former UnidosUS Board Chair. The President’s Award is awarded to the individual or organization that has shown outstanding support for UnidosUS’s mission. Ortega has been a strong supporter of UnidosUS since its early years and continues to be a strong supporter of the organization.
To watch the Awards Gala, click the link below.
Our Annual Conference is the largest gathering of our community every summer, with a focus on discussing the most pressing issues to Hispanic Americans. If you didn’t get the chance to join us or if you did, we hope to see you next year in Las Vegas. Check conference.unidosus.org for information on next year’s Conference.