Chicano Federation Celebrates its Raíces

Leadership Training Institute 2023 2024 Cohort

On September 29th, the Chicano Federation of San Diego County celebrated its 54th anniversary and Latine Heritage Month at “Celebrando Raíces,” an event hosted at Mujeres Brew House in Barrio Logan. The Federation unveiled its new three-year strategic plan, which incorporated the voices of clients, staff, leadership and the community at large through intentional conversations reflecting on their collective vision for the organization. Thanks to support from Presenting Sponsor, San Diego Wave Fútbol Club, event attendees got a firsthand peek at the new mission (“To cultivate opportunities and advocate for families and individuals for a more equitable comunidad”), vision (“To create a unified community where everyone thrives”), and values for the next 54 years and beyond (community, justice, integrity, compassion, belonging). The Chicano Federation’s CEO, Liz Ramírez, was joined by Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Nora Vargas, and San Diego City Mayor, Todd Gloria, in sharing inspirational and empowering words while guests mingled. “I am really excited about the Chicano Federation’s new strategic plan that is going to ensure the organization continues to have a positive impact in San Diego for many years to come,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

The Celebrando Raíces event served as a heartfelt reunion for historic and current participants of the Chicano Federation’s Leadership Training Institute (LTI) Fellows Program. “I was an LTI Fellow in the 90s and I am honored to be a supporter now in my role as the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair,” shared Nora Vargas. “It is very encouraging to see the work the Chicano Federation is doing and what we can accomplish in our community.” Created in 1985 and relaunched in 2023 after a 20-year hiatus, the LTI expands the number of talented movement leaders by cultivating and amplifying the capabilities of exceptional Latine leaders. One of the most significant measures of social movements’ impact is developing the leadership required to sustain institutional change. The program’s goal is to serve as a launchpad for Latine leaders to visualize and own their leadership roles in ending inequities. The LTI equips participants with the necessary skills, knowledge and networks to transform passion and individual resources into the collective power needed to become successful community organizers and movement builders for the long term. Partnering with the UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies, LTI graduates will receive a certificate and four college credits.

In 1969, the Chicano Federation was established with a racial equity lens on San Diego County’s Latine community. Because of its commitment to racial equity and social justice, the Chicano Federation will be recognized as the “2023 Outstanding Organization for Diversity & Inclusion” at the 51st annual National Philanthropy Day in San Diego, an event recognizing the great contributions of those active in the enrichment of our community. The Federation has grown into a trusted partner that annually serves 100,000+ individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital and/or immigration status.

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Esteban Villanueva