Wednesday, April 30, 2008

LatinoJustice

LatinoJustice connects hundreds of students and young leaders for May 1 action

New civic engagement network promotes Latino activism across the country

The next generation of Latino leaders has a new tool to help them get involved in the fight for civil rights. LatinoJustice, an online civic engagement network created by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), connects students and young Latino activists across the country, and helps engage them in the fight for social justice. LatinoJustice connects doers, thinkers and motivators who seek to galvanize their communities.

In the weeks leading up to this year's May 1 events, LatinoJustice connected hundreds of students and young leaders from across the country with information on where and how to get involved. After May 1, the network will continue to connect young leaders for future activism, including organizing naturalization campaigns and voter registration drives, and conducting poll watching to ensure that Latinos are not intimidated when they cast their votes this November.

"This generation plans activities, talks about what's on its mind and makes friends in a different way. It is also a generation that is eager to make a difference," said PRLDEF President and General Counsel Cesar Perales. "We are asking these young activists to become leaders in their communities: Leaders in the fight for justice and equal opportunity at a time when Latinos are facing a barrage of prejudice from the media, from politicians and from many other people in this country."

With their growing numbers, Latino youth stand to exert an important influence over civic society in the coming years. Our country saw its first glimpse of this potential power three years ago, when young activists helped convert messages on social networks into high turnout at massive rallies and marches for May 1, the national day of action for immigrants' rights.

Young Latinos are the country's fastest growing demographic; about 34 percent of Latinos are under the age of 18. And approximately 60,000 Latinos turn 18 every month in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

"Our young activists are residents and new immigrants who realize the importance of standing up for the rights of their community," said Madeline Friedman, Director of the LatinoJustice Network. "LatinoJustice provides them with the tools to be advocates for all Latinos."

LatinoJustice brings together young leaders from various colleges and states across the country, allowing them to debate important policy on discussion boards, comment on the latest news affecting their communities, and post and view workshops and events that promote community engagement. For more information, visit LatinoJustice's profile on MySpace at myspace.com/latinojustice or visit Facebook.

Source: Press release from PRDLEF
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