Leaders, Activists, Writers and More: UnidosUS Announces Speakers and Highlights for its 2021 Annual Conference

President Joe Biden to deliver virtual remarks at the largest Latino gathering

WASHINGTON, DC—President Joe Biden; U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen; U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona; independent journalist María Elena Salinas; activist, writer and producer Julissa Arce; are among the many featured speakers of the 2021 UnidosUS Annual Conference: Rebuilding Our Economy, Renewing Our Democracy. Reimagining Our Future, held virtually this year from July 26–27. UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía will deliver a keynote address, followed later by the president’s prerecorded special message.

UnidosUS (formerly known as National Council of La Raza), the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization, will host its signature event on its digital platforms for the second year in a row, convening an impressive slate of thought leaders, advocates and experts to discuss the issues most pertinent to Latinos. This year’s informative sessions will feature four themes, including racial equity, immigration, the future of work and the Esperanza Hope for All campaign–an UnidosUS-led initiative to mitigate the health, economic and education effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Latinos. The sessions will include conversations on how we can build an inclusive economy, demand racial justice and help all Latinos be healthy and thrive.

Featured speakers and sessions for Monday, July 26, include:

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía will address the conference with a keynote speech that praises Latinos’ contributions to the country and calls for equal opportunity for all to succeed.

President Joe Biden will deliver a prerecorded, virtual special message about his administration’s efforts to include Latinos in the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Journalist María Elena Salinas who will moderate a conversation on immigration, titled “An Essential Path to Citizenship: What’s Next?” featuring speakers Carolina Rubio-MacWright, Artist, Immigration Attorney and Activist, TouchingLand.org; Chuck Rocha, President of Solidarity Strategies and UnidosUS immigration expert Carlos Guevara.

Glen Harris president of Race Forward; Judith Browne-Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project; Sonal Shah, President of The Asian American Foundation and Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Deputy Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at UnidosUS, will share insights on how we can employ a multiracial approach to racial justice in a session moderated by Morgan Radford, NBC News Correspondent and NBC News NOW Anchor.

Entertainment and special performances by David Bianchi, Elena & Los Fulanos, Las Cafeteras and a cooking demonstration by Chef Eddie Garza.

On the agenda for Tuesday, July 27, are:

Activist and bestselling author, Julissa ArceG. Cristina Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, will discuss how to address racism against Latinos, titled “Changing the Narrative on Latino Identity in America.”

“Ready to Stay: Preparing for Legalization,” a session that will equip organizations with the tools and resources to implement immigration legalization efforts. Moderated by UnidosUS Senior Cabinet Advisor and author, Charles Kamasaki, the session will include Erendira Rendon, Vice President of Immigrant Advocacy and Defense at The Resurrection Project; Nicole Melaku, Executive Director at National Partnership for New Americans and Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.

Entertainment and special performances by QVLN, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, Mayda del Valle, Making Movies, Amara La Negra, David Hidalgo and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos.

The annual gathering will conclude with a Conference awards celebration that honors leaders across various sectors who have created important change for the Latino community. This year’s honorees include Stacey Abrams, Founder & Board Chair, Fair Fight Action; Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of Weekend Edition Sunday and NPR’s morning news podcast Up First; The Honorable Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge; David L. Cohen, Senior Advisor to the CEO, Comcast Corporation, and Chair of the UnidosUS Corporate Board of Advisors and Ron Rivera, coach of the Washington Football Team.

Bank of America is the title sponsor of this year’s Annual Conference presented in partnership with UPS.

A full list of Conference sessions is available online. Registration is $25 for the general public, and free for the media.


WHAT:    The 2021 UnidosUS Annual Conference

WHEN:    Monday, July 26 to Tuesday, July 27

WHERE:  Details and the latest conference schedule is available on the UnidosUS Conference website.