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Opinion

From Rhode Island to All: Latino Policy Institute’s Vision for America

In the tapestry of the American narrative, every thread tells a story. The Latino strand, vibrant and enduring, weaves a saga of courage, aspirations, and a spirit that knows no bounds. Yet, for all its luminance, its potential has often been shadowed by challenges that demand acknowledgment and action. At the forefront of this change stands the Latino Policy Institute (LPI), an organization steadfast in its mission to amplify the Latino voice, shed light on its experiences, and ignite transformational change.

Rhode Island has been more than just a geographic location for LPI; it’s where our heart beats, our mission finds its footing, and our vision takes flight. Over the past 14 years, our commitment to the Latino community here has been unwavering. But as with every story that demands to be told, ours is now ready to resonate across the nation. 

In recent years, LPI has been a vanguard of transformational change, championing pivotal legislation that uplifts the Latino community and other underserved groups. Among these groundbreaking enactments are the “Let RI Vote Act,” a beacon ensuring enhanced voting accessibility in Rhode Island; the “Cover All Kids” initiative, a compassionate step that provides healthcare to undocumented children under the age of 19; and the “Safe Roads Act,” a culmination of over a decade’s advocacy, offering driving privileges to undocumented residents. Each piece of legislation is a testament to our unwavering commitment to inclusivity and equity.

Education has long been our compass. The vision? An America where every Latino child’s academic journey is reflective of their cultural wealth, where linguistic diversity is not just accommodated but celebrated. “At the heart of LPI’s mission is the unwavering belief that every child, irrespective of their background, should have access to a rich, empowering education,” states Marcela Betancur, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Institute.

But our narrative continues beyond education. Imagine an America where healthcare isn’t just a service but a right. Where healthcare practices speak the language of cultural sensitivity, and wellness is an attainable goal for every individual. “Our dedication is to ensure that healthcare extends beyond just being available. It needs to be inclusive, comprehensive, and tailored to the needs of the Latino community,” shares Diony Garcia, a longstanding supporter, and outgoing LPI board co-chair.

Our tapestry, while vivid and intricate, remains unfinished. There are stories yet to be written, challenges to overcome, and triumphs to celebrate. This is where our community, our partners, and supporters come in. Your belief in our mission, investment in our vision, and commitment to driving change are pivotal to the livelihood, empowerment, and success of Latinos across the country. 

As we stand on the cusp of this new chapter, we extend an invitation to be part of our story. Join us at Latinos Unidos: Celebrating our Past, Building our Future on October 26th from 6-8:30 at Shark’s Peruvian Cuisine at 1420 Broad St, Central Falls, RI 02863There will be plenty of parking, live music, delicious food celebrating our Latinidad, and great company. We will honor champions, reflect on our journey, and chart the path ahead. Rhode Island remains our anchor, but our story is now America’s story. Join us in shaping it.

Visit https://thelatinopolicy.org/latinosunidos for more information about Latinos Unidos and to purchase tickets. 


Marcela Betancur is the Executive Director of the Latino Policy Institute (LPI), with a decade of experience advocating for social equity and empowering Latino communities. Her dedication to education, health, and economic empowerment has expanded LPI’s mission to embrace Latino communities nationwide.

Cover Photo Courtesy: North Central Regional Center For Rural Development

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