Latinos have become leaders in arts, education, science, business, and politics. There is no denying the contributions we have made to, what for many of us is, our adopted country. Whether we are U.S. born or naturalized, we are making strides and making our mark in society.
Parade magazine will be publishing a year-long series on the contributions of Latinos in America.
For the debut effort, PARADE conducted a roundtable, led by NBC Today anchor Natalie Morales, with four notable Latinos of very different backgrounds and experience: from Texas, San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, 38, and Republican state representative Larry Gonzales, 42; Linda Alvarado, 61, president and CEO of Denver’s Alvarado Construction and a co-owner of MLB’s Colorado Rockies; and Cristina Jiménez, 28, managing director of United We Dream, a nationwide network of youth-led immigrant rights groups.
Highlights of the discussion include statements from the participants:
Replenishing America: “When I think of what Latinos are going to mean to the United States as the population grows, it’s going to be a replenishment of exactly what made the United States a great nation: a great work ethic, faith, aspiration, community.” —Julián Castro
Hispanic values = American values: “It’s about opportunity and access. Those are American ideas, not just Hispanic ideas. … What we’re looking for in America—like in baseball—is the opportunity to try [to find] that level playing field.” —Linda Alvarado
The importance of immigration reform: “There’s a certain brain drain in this country. When these undocumented students are graduating in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—we want them to stay. We need that kind of brain trust.” —Larry Gonzales
Life without documents: “I grew up here as an undocumented student. Everything around me said, No. No scholarship, no fellowship, no internship, no access to higher education. What makes me proud is the community and my family around me really pushing me, with a lot of courage and faith, to continue moving forward.” —Cristina Jiménez
The great thing about this year-long series is that Parade doesn’t just want to highlight the people whose names normally appear in bold type. They want to hear from you also. If you are interested in participating, and telling your story, or your family’s story, hit the link and tell your tale.