Latino leaders and Catholic officials will attend the "Latino/Latina/Latinx Memorial on Orlando" on July 9.
Catholic, Latino and LGBT leaders are coming together in San Diego for a historic evening of solidarity called “San Diego Latino/Latina/Latinx Memorial on Orlando” on Saturday, July 9.
Bishop Robert McElroy, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego will join the huge collection of Latino community officials, activists, and politicians at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Bankers Hill.
“This is quite an historic event,” said longtime Latino and GLBT activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez, “This is just a wonderful coming together of communities…of the religious community; Catholics and leaders.”
The memorial is a special event to recognize the LGBT Latino community including parents friends and family members, who lost so many to the gunman the morning of June 12.
Eighty-percent of the people who fell victim to the assailant’s weapon were of Latin descent.
In San Diego, thousands swarmed the streets of Hillcrest to honor those who were killed or injured.
But some felt that the collective grief was missing a voice for people of color.
Organizer of the Latino Memorial event and former President of the Chicano Federation of San Diego, David Valladolid said, “Many in the LGBT community felt that the Latino leadership and community organizations had not created a bond of support and solidarity."
Valladolid recognizes that after the tragedy many Latino leaders attended other vigils, "But for some reason the Latino community did not respond in a collective way, and that was what was basically bothering many in the community, the LGBT community," he said.
Valladolid says he put the call out to many Latino community leaders to form a mass memorial, and the response was overwhelming.
“People just responded incredíbly, we just sent out the announcement, and we have seventy co-hosts,” he said. “out of the co-hosts we have twenty elected officials, about thirty organizations, and about twenty individuals who have signed on for this event.”
The list consists of over 70 invited officials and includes the Honorable Susan Davis of the US Congress, CA. Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Executive Director ACLU, Norma Chavez-Peterson, San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez, the Honorable Juan Vargas, plus many more high-ranking individuals and organizations in both government and business.
However, Murray-Ramirez having been moved so deeply by the words of San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy after Orlando, asked if it would be possible for him to speak at the memorial.
As the country mourned, Bishop McElroy made a statement calling for a mend in the rift between LGBT people and the church, "This tragedy is a call for us as Catholics to combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country."
The Bishop was expected to be out of town on July 9, but his offices confirmed that he would return in time for the memorial and would be in attendance.
He will be joining St. Paul's Cathedral of San Diego's Episcopal Bishop James Mathes in offering words of support and unity.
“The event will be opened by Bishop Mathes from the Episcopal Diocese and what we are planning to do is have Bishop McElroy close," said Valladolid. "And then we have a planned agenda that I think is going to be very powerful because we are going to have forty-nine students, beginning after the Episcopal Bishop gives the blessing, come to the altar with pictures and the names of the forty-nine that were killed along with a candle.”
The organizers of the "Latino/Latina/Latinx Memorial on Orlando" hope that its message will transcend the event itself and bridge the gap between cultures, faith leaders and communities.
In fact they have embraced the motto, "Somos Una Gente," which means "We are all one people".
"This is a historic coming together of the Latino community in San Diego, the LGBT community and the religious community," Murray-Ramirez says. "Think about it: the leaders of the Latino community will be there, the leaders of Catholic community will be there, leaders of the gay community. This is quite a historic event."
The event will be open for all who wish to attend, but may fill up due to limited space, "The Cathedral only holds seven-hundred people, so I think we are going to have standing room on the side," said Valladolid.
“San Diego Latino/Latina/Latinx Memorial on Orlando” will be held on Saturday, July 9, from 6 pm to 8 pm at St. Paul's Cathedral of San Diego.
St. Paul's Cathedral is located at 2728 Sixth Ave, San Diego.
Here is the list of co-hosts scheduled to attend:
The Honorable Juan Vargas, US Congress
The Honorable Susan Davis, US Congress
The Honorable CA Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins
The Honorable Lorena Gonzales, CA State Assembly Member
The Honorable Ben Hueso, CA Senate Member
The Honorable Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas
The Honorable Todd Gloria, SD City Council Member
The Honorable David Alvarez, SD City Council Member
The Honorable Myrtle Cole, SD City Council Member
The Honorable Esther Sanchez, OS City Council Member
The Honorable Maria Nieto Senour, President SDCC Board of Trustees
The Honorable Richard Barrera, SDUSD VP Board of Trustees
The Honorable Mona Rios, NC Council Member
The Honorable Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, National City Council Member
The Honorable Nora Vargas, SWCC Trustee President
The Honorable Luis Natividad, National City Council Member Emeritus
The Honorable Teresa Valladolid, SWCC Trustee Emeritus
Chicano Federation, Ray Uzeta, President
Alliance of San Diego, Andrea Guerrero, President
MABPA, Josie Calderon, Founder & Executive Director
Urban Leadership Development Institute, Fred Sotelo, Board Member
SD Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Albert Clark, President
Border Angels, Enrique Morones, Founder
The Latina/o Indigenous Peoples Unity Coalition, Dr. Guadalupe Corona
SD LGBT Community Center, Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, President
SD La Raza Lawyers, Luis O. Osuna, Esq. President
La Prensa SD, Art Castañares, President
Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, Carlos & Linda LeGerrette, Founders
Hispanic Organized For Political Equality, HOPE
MAAC Project, Arnulfo Manriquez, President
Southwestern College, Chicano Latino Coalition, Ms. Aguilar and Ms. Escobedo
Casa Familiar, Andrea Skorepa, President & CEO
San Ysidro Health Center, R. Daniel Hernandez, Director of Com. Relations
South Bay Community Services, Patty Chavez, Director of External Affairs
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, The Very Reverend Dean Penny Bridges
La Voz De San Diego, Pedro Anaya, Founder & Editor
SD Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s LGBT Advisory Board
Barrio Station, Rachel Ortiz, Executive Director
GLSEN SD, Co-Chairs, Dennis Nicely, and Chet Sewell
San Diego Unified Latino Advisory to the SDUSD Superintendent, Alberto Ochoa and Rosalia Salinas, Co-Chairs
Mama's Kitchen, Alberto Cortés, Executive Director
National City Chamber of Commerce
Bishop Robert McElroy, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
Jose Padilla, Esq. CRLA
Anthony Valladolid, Esq., CRLA & MAAC Board Member
David Valladolid, PIQE President & CEO
Jose Cruz, President of the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI)
Roy Castillo, ASO, Senator Higher Ed. Center San Ysidro
Rosalia Salinas, PIQE Board of Directors
Norma Chavez-Peterson, Executive Director ACLU
William Virchis, Founder of Teatro Mascara Magica
Ricardo Flores, Chief of Staff, SD Council Member Marti Emerald
Nicole Murray Ramirez, Co-Chair of the Harvey Milk Foundation
Rafael Castellanos, Esq., SD Port Commissioner
Gloria Serrano Medina, Member of Barrio Station Board
Myrna Zambrano, Special Assistant to Speaker Toni Atkins
Larry Baza, San Diego Commissioner for Arts & Culture, Member California Arts Council.