WE ARE LLEAD!
The Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy and Development (LLEAD) is a Michigan 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by concerned Latino and Latina community members to address concerns of advocacy, civic engagement, and awareness of issues relevant to Latinx communities in the state. In November 2013, Latinx leaders from Holland, Lansing, and Saginaw came together and began discussions to create a statewide Latino organization. LLEAD’s goals for Latina/o advocacy and awareness-building identified the following needs:
- Access to health services
- Bias incidents*
- Census, 2020
- Post-secondary degree retention rates
- The school drop-out rate among youth in K 12
- School-to-prison pipeline rate
- Teenage pregnancy rates
- Unfair employment practices
- Unlawful discrimination
Creating a statewide Board of Directors enabled LLEAD to engage Latinx leaders from other parts of the state to help identify issues in other communities with Latinx populations. State Board members also gauge their community’s interest in developing their local LLEAD chapters.
In 2013, the organization, guided by Bylaws, established local chapters in Holland, Saginaw, and Lansing.
“LLEAD brings together individuals (and other Latinx organizations) in Michigan to exchange ideas and move unified solutions forward to resolve civil and human rights, health, housing, education and employment disparities at the local and state level.”
LLEADs mission is to bring Latinx individuals and other organizations in Michigan communities to exchange ideas on common issues. LLEADs goal is to move unified solutions forward in resolving local, state, and national challenges to our community. We provide a vehicle for chapters in communities to design, develop and advocate for solutions to address societal challenges in coordination with and support by State LLEAD in the areas of:
- Civil and human rights
- Civic engagement
- Health disparities
- Immigrant rights
- LGBTQ+ biases and rights
- Women and Gender rights and disparities
“The purpose for LLEAD is to advocate for Latinx resident and immigrant communities in the state of Michigan providing a safe, discrimination and bias-free environment in health, education, employment and housing. It is a non-partisan organization whose purpose includes informing and educating Michigan citizens and public servants alike of the rights and responsibilities of their neighbors and constituents.”
*The purpose of LLEAD Chapters is to provide the vehicle whereby local communities can coordinate, design, develop and advocate for the creation of solutions to overcome their societal challenges in the areas of civil and human rights, health disparities, education,
employment, economic, housing, immigrant rights, and civic engagement in conjunction with the support of the State Board of Directors of LLEAD.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
There are various ways to get involved with LLEAD. Ask about starting a chapter in your community, attend a Crisis Response Training, volunteer at chapter or state events, or support the important work with your donation. If you are ready to join, become a LLEAD member here.
LLEADs activities can be found in these reports.
LLEAD LEADERSHIP 2022
State Board of Directors:
- Alberto Flores, President (State)
- Dan Soza III, Vice-President (Saginaw)
- Raymond Bobby DeLeon (Saginaw)
- Leroy Hernandez, Treasurer (Holland)
- Laura Gonzales, Ph.D. Secretary (Mt. Pleasant)
- Esther Fifelski (Fennville)
- Rebecca Sanchez (Sandusky)
- Guillermo Z. Lopez (Lansing)
- Sheila M Contreras, Ph.D. (Lansing)
- Juan Marinez (Okemos)
- Diana Rivera, MLS (Okemos)
*LLEAD Michigan thanks Gilberto Guevara, State Board member, Saginaw, James Moreno, State Board member, Mt. PLeasant, ELvA Castilla Reyes and RUDY REYES, Charlotte, AND DANIEL G. SOZA (2014) for THEIR years of service to the board and community.
LLEad founding committee – 2013
Front: Gilberto Guevarra* (Saginaw), Magdalena Rivera* (Holland), Linda Sanchez-Gazella (Lansing), Elva Reyes* (Charlotte); Back Row: Joe Garcia (Lansing), unknown, Daniel G. Soza* (Saginaw), Raymond ‘Bobby’ Deleon* (Saginaw), Tim Marroquin (Holland), Rudy Reyes* (Charlotte), Guillermo Lopez* (Lansing), unknown, unknown, Alberto Flores* (East Perrinton) * indicates a founding member