The American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) has teamed up with Latino Inaugural 2013 to sponsor "The Futuro: Latin Power," a forum intended to increase Hispanic influence on national policy matters.
"Whether it is working toward an inclusive telling of America's rich history across the national park system or promoting American Latino investment in the country's current civil life, it is time to underscore the importance of active participation" in the country's civil affairs, said Midy Aponte, ALHF executive director.
At the forum, prominent Hispanics will address issues ranging from economics to education, after which the audience is invited to submit questions via social media. The symposium will be held Jan. 19 at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.
The Latino Inaugural 2013, celebrating the second inaugural of President Obama -- re-elected in no small part through the efforts of Hispanic organizations such as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the National Hispanic Leadership Association (NHLA) -- will be streamed live from the Kennedy Center on Jan. 20.
Although Hispanics make up about 16 percent of the country's population, and despite a 400-year history in what is now the U.S., only about 3 percent of the National Register of Historic Places' sites specifically highlight the country's diverse cultures, according to the ALHF.
Among National Park Service units that do so are the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California; the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park, scene of the opening salvos of the Mexican War in what is now Texas; and El Morro National Monument in New Mexico, where Indians, Spanish explorers and white settlers left their marks over the centuries.
The ALHF, part of the National Parks Foundation, works to preserve U.S. Hispanic history. Its recent achievements include dedicating $150,000 to open the Chavez monument in 2012 and see it through its first year of operations.
The National Parks Foundation is the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.
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