Todo se transforma: thoughts on Latino leadership and change


Almost two years ago, I shared some thoughts regarding the topic of leadership and Latino communities. At the time, the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project reported the results of a 2010 poll that indicated the U.S. Latino populace did not feel there existed a single individual that could be considered their national leader. The organization recently released the results of a new survey has that indicated similar data despite indications that also suggest a national Latino leader is needed. Ironically, these results have been released at a time when we in West Michigan are now experiencing a change in leadership within our own Latino community. Again, I feel the responsibility to address how Latino leadership can be engaged with both locally and nationally, and how non-Latino organizations can engage with both Latino communities and leaders regardless of changes that may seem daunting yet inevitable.

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Hispanic Leadership: In search of “the one”

Last November, the Pew Hispanic Center released the results of a survey that addressed Latino leadership. For the majority of Latinos in the U.S., the findings indicated there is not a single individual – be it a celebrity, politician, activist, or businessperson – that is considered a national Hispanic leader. The aptly titled press-release stated, National Latino Leader? The job is open.

This inspired me to consider our own Hispanic community here in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Who is our local leader?

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