Coffee House Discussion with Latinx Community

There were three lively table discussions at the Coalition’s Coffee House at The Woodland that centered on the experiences and concerns of the Latinx and Hispanic community in SOMA. Coalition Trustee Abbey Cotler, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, offered the welcome for the evening in English and in Spanish.

People shared personal stories from their perspectives as immigrants or of Hispanic heritage living and working in the United States. Some of the commonalities shared included that the Latinx community tends to be highly family oriented; that, while there is within the community, socio-economic status is more important than skin color; and that race is secondary to culture and nationality.

Some of the general concerns we heard included:

  • Non-Hispanics lack basic knowledge about the different points of origin, dialects, and cultures of Hispanic people
  • Concerns for personal safety from US authorities threatens Latinx daily lives
  • The Latinx community feels invisible here. They should be represented by who is speaking, the message and the language used.
  • There are no Latinx congregating venues in SOMA, including no church services in Spanish. However, several restaurants are now open.
  • Helpful information should be available in simplified pamphlets and in Spanish
  • The Coalition’s focus on race should be expanded to include differences in cultures

The common thread for the Latinx community is their shared political experience of US imperialism.
We must forge multi-racial alliances in recognizing issues like hyper-enforcement of police stops among the undocumented, and for driver’s license violations as an inter-sectional issue with racial profiling in the Black community.

Many thanks to those who came out to share their experiences and to the Coffee House Discussion Committee for organizing, including: David Harris, Abby Cotler, Reynaldo Tapia, and Dagmar Hobson.

 

 

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