The Oregon Community Foundation’s Latino Partnership Program (LPP) hosted more than 200 Oregonians from small business, education, health, government and nonprofit sectors on October 5 and 6 in Salem for the inaugural Conexiones event. The location was significant since OCF’S Northern Willamette Valley Leadership Council launched LPP in the Salem region in the early 2000’s. For the past decade, OCF’s Latino Partnership Program has been collaborating with Latino leaders and organizations around the state to engage with Oregon’s fastest-growing community.
Conexiones continued this engagement by focusing on education, leadership development and community and cultural bridges with attendees. Latinos and non-Latino partners represented regions from Ontario to Ashland, from Lincoln City to Madras and all along the I-5 corridor. The theme, “transforming communities together,” highlighted the important role Latino leaders in Oregon play in transforming the state and encouraged action. Local and national speakers, including Maria Hinojosa and Luis Avila, reminded attendees to believe in their own capacity to create change.
“Latino education achievement and increased Latino representation and leadership remain the focus of our work through the Latino Partnership Program,” said OCF President and CEO, Max Williams. “What’s exciting is all the opportunities that lie ahead of us. Latinos in Oregon will continue to transform our communities and state.”
Through work sessions that dug deeper into issues such as education, small business, health and leadership, attendees made new connections, committed to collaborations and discussed big ideas to identify solutions to key issues, around a set of common goals. The discussions and big ideas that LPP documented will provide a roadmap for Conexiones attendees, their partners and other Oregonians to help move these ideas forward in the future. For more information about Conexiones and OCF’s Latino Partnership Program, visit oregonf.org/lpp.