UnidosUS Kicks Off Its 50th Anniversary Year Honoring Legacy and Charting a Path Forward
WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, turns 50 today, marking a significant milestone in its decades-long history of service to the Latino community. The organization will head into its 50th year by building on its rich legacy and the leaders whose vision laid the original groundwork, and with a greater impetus to move our country forward by ensuring that every Latino has an opportunity to achieve their own American Dream.
The Southwest Council of La Raza was formed in Phoenix in 1968 when seven community organizations in the Southwest came together with a simple, but powerful mission: to strengthen our country by creating opportunities for Hispanics. As the organization’s agenda and profile grew, it recognized a need to elevate the work on a national level and thus relocated to Washington, DC, and embraced a new identity as the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). And just last year, on the cusp of its 50th anniversary, the organization changed its name to UnidosUS with the intention to better reflect to a broader audience what it had been doing for decades—uniting communities and bringing together different sectors, finding common ground through collaboration, and a shared desire to make our country stronger.
“We are proud to celebrate our golden anniversary and proud to reflect on 50 years of mission-driven work and impact. Together with our Affiliates, we have made notable improvements in education, health, housing and other areas that have expanded social, economic and political empowerment for the Hispanic community,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.
Since its founding, UnidosUS has grown to become one of the leading institutions for the Latino community, bringing the voice and experience of Hispanics to the national forefront through its expert and experienced advocacy, proven programs, and a national Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States. In five decades of service, UnidosUS has championed the Latino community to create opportunities and positive change with some impactful results like:
- Established the largest Latino-focused, Latino-led charter network composed of 115 community and charter schools.
- Invested $2 billion to develop communities via our Raza Development Fund, the largest Hispanic CDFI in the country.
- Helped 1.4 million eligible immigrants become citizens.
- Assisted over 30,000 people buy their own home. And saved 90,000 families from foreclosure.
- Campaigned to add folic acid to corn masa flour, which will save thousands of infants from birth defects for generations to come.
- Helped register half a million new Latino voters since 2008.
- Fought to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protection to nearly 2 million home care workers.
The organization will celebrate this momentous occasion through a series of events and activities echoing the theme for 2018: The Next 50 Years: Leading with Tenacity, Courage, and Purpose, leading up to the UnidosUS Annual Conference, which will be held in the nation’s capital this July.
“Now, as we consider the power of the moment we’re in—both as an organization and as a country—it is more important than ever to show what our country can be when everyone, including Latinos, has an equal opportunity to succeed. Without hesitation, I can say that in these 50 years of service, our community has never been stronger. Our power has never been greater. We cannot allow the challenges we face today to deter us from fulfilling our founding mission,” Murguía concluded.