Dear CHCI Partners,
Now, more than ever, Latinos in the United States need to maintain unity where it matters most; in educating our youth and developing future leaders. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) has spent nearly 40 years tirelessly working to develop educational opportunities for Latino youth to provide them with a pathway to success. We can assure you, we will not stop now.
Educational opportunities for our future leaders should not be a partisan issue. There are more than 55 million Latinos living in communities throughout the United States. Any effort to educate our young people and provide them with a bright future should not depend on partisan politics but rather a non-partisan, unified, dedication to providing tools and opportunities to lead our youth to a brighter future.
It is unfortunate that this election caused a ripple effect of fear and divisiveness particularly toward and within the Latino community. For decades, CHCI has worked to combat such sentiments by educating, empowering and connecting young leaders in our community. In 2015, 68% of CHCI interns were first generation in their family to attend college. We are proud that many of our students come from immigrant families who came to this country to make a better life for their children.
This election also brought with it gains to our community: Latinos voted in record numbers throughout the country, the nation’s first Latina U.S. Senator was elected in Nevada, and there are new Latino members of the House of Representatives who will be inaugurated in January. The important gains we have made as a community are encouraging and CHCI is ready to defend those gains by continuing to pursue our mission particularly for the students, their families and all of the Latino leaders who relentlessly pursued their dreams, paving the way for future leaders.
If ever there was a time in history when our work is critical, it is now. It is more important than ever that we fight to ensure that the President-elect and Congress understand that education and opportunities for our youth should remain a high priority, regardless of who is in power. As an organization, we have worked to ensure that young Latinos are confident and supported in their ability to dream, believe and succeed. Through CHCI, our young people are exposed to the many Latino leaders who have paved the pathway for them.
Political leadership changes are inevitable, yet what will not waver is CHCI’s dedication to its mission. We will continue to educate, empower and connect Latino students and leaders regardless of party politics. CHCI has and will always stand united with our Latino brothers and sisters to protect and defend against allegations that are belittling or demeaning toward our communities and leaders. CHCI’s dedication to cultivating and supporting current and future Latino leaders is as strong as ever. It is our belief that the dreams of our young, future leaders, should be supported and nurtured throughout this country and across party lines.
President and CEO
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)