For Immediate release on Sunday, May 30th:
May 30, 2021
Miroslava Osorio, LLAA Communications Director
Chicago, IL, - May 30th, 2021 - The University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association (LLAA) is thrilled to announce its newly elected 2021-2023 Board of Directors.
“I am ecstatic about this new cohort of leaders and the innovation they will bring to the team,” said Cristian Biviano, Chair/President of LLAA. "We are here to assist in the development of the future generation of Latinx leaders that seek higher-education to strengthen themselves, their families, communities and profession. As I look at the aspirations of the Board of Directors of LLAA in 2021: ‘I know they will continue to grow our wealth of talent, cultural capital, and the diversity within our membership, our Illinois Latinx students, and alumni at large. In the words of Vice-President Kamala Harris, "you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last” Congratulations to the 2021-2023 elected Board of Directors.
The newly elected 2021-2023 Board of Directors:
Ana Bermeo ‘20
Nayeli Fernandez ‘09
Laura Gutierrez ‘09
Nancy Cambron Perez ‘12
Alan A. Sánchez ‘15
Alejandra I. Vilchis ‘03
There is no greater contribution than serving in a leadership role. We thank and congratulate our new Board Members on their appointments. We look forward to them continuing our strong leadership legacy.
La lucha sigue!
* * *
About Illinois LLAA
The University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association (IllinoisLLAA) was informally established in late 2008 and then formally recognized as an affiliate of the University of Illinois Alumni Association in 2009. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, LLAA was created to establish, maintain and promote a network for the empowerment and advancement of Latina/Latino alumni, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. For more information or to support the University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association (IllinoisLLAA) mission please visit, www.IllinoisLLAA.org.
Dear Alumni, Community Members, Students, and University Administrators,
Our world was violently shaken on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, as eight (8) individuals lost their lives to violent domestic terrorism in Atlanta, Georgia. Six (6) out of the eight victims were of Asian descent, casualties of intense xenophobic rhetoric enhanced by anxiety, unease, and incivility. As an organization, the University of Illinois Latino/Latina Alumni Association (LLAA) is alarmed by the continued atmosphere of racism and bigotry in our country. The Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been affected by an exorbitant amount of violence, hate crimes, and discrimination since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, increasing by 149% in 2020.
As Latinos and as LLAA, we stand in solidarity with the entire Asian community. We stand together, understanding that as marginalized communities, your pain is our pain.
A national spotlight has demonstrated the harsh reality of what it has meant to be Asian in the United States of America during the pandemic. Viral videos of elderly members of the AAPI community being beaten or harassed have saddened us to the reality that Asian individuals navigate daily.
We must speak up when we see inequalities or hear prejudiced rhetoric.
If you experience an incident of discrimination in our community, report it to the authorities, and help our community member(s) in refuge.
In doing so, we align with national calls from leaders across an array of identifications, creeds, and marginalized groups. We support the initiatives and needs to action found in the Ways to Take Action created by stopaapihate.org:
Be civically engaged in your local community.
Ask your elected officials what they are doing to increase resources for survivors and their families, and for intervention- and prevention-based programs such as anti-racism education in schools and in communities.
Demand ordinances or resolutions to condemn hate. Endorse strong civil rights laws at the local and state levels. What are the issues that exist within your community that need to be addressed?
Advocate for expanded civil rights protections that would safeguard Asian Americans and other people from harassment in private businesses.
Work with your workplace, school, faith-based institution, union, or community organization to issue a statement denouncing anti-Asian racism and to encourage everyone to work towards racial justice.
Support Ethnic Studies in your local school districts and educational institutions. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have experienced centuries of violence in the U.S. We need to address the perpetual foreigner stereotype that frames Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as outsiders to this nation. Due to this Orientalist framing, Asians can be excluded, detained, deported, and attacked because we supposedly don’t belong here. Ethnic Studies helps teach students the sources of this racism and promotes racial empathy and solidarity.
Support local Asian-owned businesses. These businesses began seeing a decline in business even before the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S. and stay-at-home orders were enacted.
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Asian American Cultural Center will be hosting a workshop on how to intervene and stop anti-Asian harassment and xenophobia in the upcoming days to fortify the campus community. We implore all students on campus to attend.
To our Asian siblings, community members, alumni, staff, and faculty, you are not alone. We recognize the fear and trauma that has resulted in the last year and one that culminates with acts of violence against you, but know that we witness it, and we will not be silent. We will work in solidarity to bring about change, work with civic leaders, and seek justice alongside you. We believe in equity, justice, and inclusion for all. We will be unwavering. We will not hesitate to call out the injustices within our Latinx community. As racism is prevalent in our country, we pledge to educate others about the fears they exhibit. The marginalization of the Asian community ends with us.
Your LLAA family remains determined to continue showing up, using our voice, taking action, and seeking justice together. It is time to end racism and prejudice in any form.
The University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association Board of Directors
October 31, 2019
Regardless of political affiliation or preferences, the institution of higher learning should remain intact to ensure the learning environment is optimal for any student seeking improvement through education.
In the spirit of support, solidarity, and commitment, the University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association (LLAA) stands with students, and other campus organizations that have been impacted by the negative communication propagated from University leadership, including University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones. The LLAA supports initiatives to bring further discussion by University Housing and Multicultural Advocates whose sole mission is to serve as leaders and role models within the residence hall community by confronting acts of intolerance or hate, encouraging dialogue among students, and working toward the creation of truly inclusive communities. Multicultural Advocates assumes an active role in the advancement of multiculturalism and social justice within the residence halls through community and staff development, education, celebration, and dialogue.
We call-to-action the University, and student organizations on campus, to come together and provide programming and training to educate and reiterate the distinction between anti-Semitism and advocating for Palestinians in voicing their reality on campus about their state in their country peacefully.
LLAA condemns anti-Semitic violence, such as the reported swastika on the Foreign Languages building. We extend our solidarity to Jewish students on campus who are impacted by this violent anti-Semitism and the hope that such hate crimes never be committed on our land-grant institution of higher learning again. We stand with all oppressed people fighting for liberation and encourage folks to continue to have productive conversations and come to a resolution.
LLAA cares for everyone on campus, and stands with you, in solidarity through our shared commitment of self-improvement through education. The LLAA will always fight, as a collective voice for our membership, campus and students, for their well-being, safety, dignity, and will strive to protect appropriately.
In firm solidarity,
The University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association
Congratulations to LLAA Executive Board and Board of Directors for the 2020-2021!
Chair- Cristian Biviano (BUS ‘14)
Vice-Chair- Kristy Herrera (LAS ‘06)
Treasurer- Francisco Martinez (LAS ‘09)
Secretary- Efren McKissick (LAS ‘13)
Membership- Priscilla Guasso (BUS ‘06)
Programming- Patricia M. Flores (LAS ‘09)
Communications- Laura Roman (LAS ‘13)
Fundraising- Julio A. Galindo (LAS ‘92)
Scholarship- Luis Narvaez (LAS ‘03)
History- Heather Hathaway Miranda (LAS ‘95)
Community Involvement- Daisy Moran (LAS ‘16)
Campus Relationship- Jonathan Alanis (LAS ‘19)
Legal-Bylaws- Pierce Lopez (AHS ‘15, LER ‘16)
Chicago, IL, - May 30, 2020 - The University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association (LLAA) is pleased to announce its 2020 Board of Directors. LLAA invited its membership to vote on its newest generation of leadership. The Alumni Association elected its largest class of alumni, with 16 members becoming a part of the Board. The election of Board Members was open for any due-paying member to be nominated, accepted, and elected to a two-year term starting June 1, 2020.
This year’s membership elected a class of leaders ranging from the fields of Human Resource, Engineering, Public Policy, Education, and Nonprofit.
“At a time where we find ourselves, and our communities, needing strong leadership, many Latina/o/x alumni from a diverse section of years, answered LLAA’s call, and we are happy to receive much-needed help.” said, Cynthia Candido Nambo, Chair of LLAA. "I am reminded of the quote by Cesar Chavez, which rings true today as I look at the aspirations of the Board of Directors of LLAA in 2020: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and our own.’"