LULAC Focuses On Education During Day 4 Of The 93rd Annual Convention In San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, PR – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) hosted its 93rd annual convention and expo at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, bringing together 15,000 leaders from various sectors to discuss policy issues impacting the Hispanic community, affirm shared values, and commit to concerted actions at the local and national levels. Education and questions of equity, equality and social justice were at the forefront of today’s discussions.

“The single issue impacting the largest number of Latinos in this country is education. Since LULAC’s earliest years, education has been at the forefront of our civil rights campaigns and battles and continues to be. Our children and youth deserve safe schools in decent accommodations, so they can learn and reach their potential,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President.

LULAC was honored to have as a keynote speaker the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who is of Puerto Rican descent and shared his family’s history and his thoughts on the state of education in the Hispanic community.

“Today I call for a renewed focus on the issues that matter to us, but also that matter to the family that just got here from their homeland for a better life. That’s why we must fight for equitable education and access to college,” said Miguel Cardona, US Secretary of Education. “Let’s recommit our energy to aggressively and unapologetically ensuring that we are closing opportunity and achievement gaps by demanding that American Rescue Plan dollars are going towards those in greatest need. We also need to push for a greater return on investment and affordability for our colleges and universities, which still seem so out of reach for too many of our first-generation college students,” said Cardona. Today’s theme on LULAC’s National Stage was the State of Education in America, and LULAC was honored to have Eliezer Ramos Parés, Secretary of Education of Puerto Rico, and Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President, speak as well.

AFT, the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (AMPR) and LULAC partnered with a coalition to donate 10,000 children’s books and backpacks to students across the island as part of the Reading Opens the World literacy campaign. Thousands of students have descended on the San Juan Convention Center for the book distribution and read-alouds thanks to the Transportation Institute, U.S. shipping company Crowley, the Seafarers International Union, and local ground transportation companies, which donated their expertise and services.

“While some politicians ban books and censor curriculum, we are promoting literacy and sparking the joy of reading through our Reading Opens the World campaign. Every child must have the opportunity to recover and thrive and reading is a foundational skill necessary for virtually everything we learn and do—and reading well is an essential pathway to opportunity,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. “As part of our campaign to give 1 million books to kids, this week, in a joint effort with LULAC we have distributed over 10,000 books to children throughout Puerto Rico. Kids long for something that’s theirs—to explore faraway places or learn about a great leader that looks like them and these books are fulfilling that dream.”

“LULAC’s founders understood that education is a civil and human right, and it was so important it was even included in the LULAC Constitution,” said Sindy Benavides, LULAC CEO. “LULAC will continue to work for equity, equality, and social justice when it comes to education because it’s our legacy and our responsibility to fight for quality education and safe schools – for the children, teachers, administrators and school staff at schools every day, and for all future generations.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which celebrates its 93rd annual convention, is the largest and oldest organization that defends the civil rights of the Hispanic community. It is based on volunteer service and seeks to build strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, it is made up of councils located in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Through its programs and services, LULAC provides solutions to the most important problems for Hispanics today and lays the foundation for a better future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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About LULAC
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/

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