Latinx Political and Social Empowerment
A conversation with Dr. Gary Segura, Dean of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Moderated by Brenda Gonzalez of Tamarindo podcast
Video Credit: Director/Editor - Gregorio Davila
According to Gary Segura, Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and featured speaker at the United Latinx Fund (ULF) Los Angeles’ inaugural Salón Series, investing in the Latinx community‘s future means broadening civic engagement. “We need to think about organizations that do a meaningful job of getting Latinos more involved in their community” said Segura to a captivated audience of almost 100 Latinx leaders. The United Latinx Fund, which organized the event, aims to do just that. Hosted at the home of Dr. Cynthia Telles and Joe Waz, the event featured introductions by interim-Executive Director Richard Xavier Corral who explained that ULF is a, “leading foundation and philanthropic resource created for and by Latinx, that works to transform, uplift and improve the quality of life for Latinx by investing in sustainable, community-driven solutions”. The event also featured introductions by ULF Board President Sonja Diaz.
The talk was moderated by Brenda Gonzalez, host of Tamarindo Podcast, a socially conscious talkshow with a Latino vibe. As the first Latino Dean of a large public Public Policy School in the United States, Dean Segura shared his vision for the Los Angeles community. Segura emphasized the need to support and get the UC system more embedded in the region. “The UC [system] devoted little effort and investment in plurality population (Latinos)” and furthermore, there are currently no broad-based policy think tanks that understand and study the Latinx community or the challenges they face.
Gonzalez advanced the conversation by asking how the United Latinx Fund can help actualize Segura’s vision. “Philanthropy is a deep tradition in the Latinx community” Segura explained, giving and investing is “something that Latinos do.” Segura tasked ULF to help build a philanthropic infrastructure to help address the many needs and opportunities facing Los Angeles’ large Latinx population.
Among other topics discussed, Segura and Gonzalez touched on jobs and housing as well as how to engage the community. Segura focused on the importance of civic engagement in the Latinx community sharing, “the process of community change is ongoing...we need to think about how to get people involved between elections, not just when there is an agenda item”. Segura suggested that ULF “think about organizations that do a meaningful job of getting Latinos involved in their community,” as change for Latinos has always come from community.