–submitted by Andrea Kaminski
Baltazar De Anda Santana, co-founder and executive director of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, opened with the story of his immigration from Guadalajara to California with just $20 in his pocket. He said it hurt when people told him all the things they were sure he could not do, such as speak English, become a U.S. citizen, and get a college degree and a job with a decent wage. He said this is the story of many immigrants. In less than 20 years Baltazar has accomplished all of these things, and other immigrants are doing the same. While people of Hispanic origin make up 6.5% of the Dane County population, they are over-represented among the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve our community through the pandemic. Baltazar challenged Rotarians to welcome Latinx immigrants into the community and support policies that make it possible for them to prosper.
If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5nLCd1gXZg&t=2341s.