As the Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA) begins its 23rd year of serve to the Latino LGBTQ community on January 1, 2012, we continue build off a very rich and remarkable history. Whether taking the role as the lead gay organization helping to build a coalition among LGBTQ groups and others on comprehensive immigration reform or helping community based gay or Latino agencies to develop organizational policies that help increase access to healthcare services to the Latino gay, bisexual and question men and who also may be undocumented as well as being a key player in helping to insure that the new Mayor of Chicago supports the rights of all it’s residents, we have and continue to be a recognized leader on Latino LGBTQ issues.
Another area we hope to continue to lead on is education, through our ALMA Scholarship program. The scholarship program has been a great source of pride for both participants and supporters of ALMA. Each year, ALMA awards scholarships to two young Latino gay or bisexual men for their leadership on LGBTQ issues in their community and to help them meet their educational goals. The young Latino gay or bisexual men that have received these scholarships have been remarkable individuals and we are honor to have recognized them for their achievements. In the years to come, we also hope to help to influenced the newly created “Illinois Dream Act Fund” which will provide financial support to young Latino undocumented students to continue their education beyond high school. Through our work with the LGBT Immigration Coalition, we want to play a leadership role around how these funds can be made available to Latino LGBTQ youth.
Also this year, ALMA was award anther health coalition building grant by the Chicago Community Trust, to expand and continue our health advocacy work with both gay and Latino organizations to increase access to the services for the Latino LGBTQ community including those who may be undocumented. Our “Strength in Unity” coalition has really helped us see the opportunities and challenges that both communities face and our partner organizations have worked with us to begin to develop new strategies for meeting the needs of the whole Latino LGBTQ community.
Finally, as ALMA moves forward, the hope is to continue our work helping to provide advocacy, leadership, support and visibility to the needs of gay, bisexual and questioning Latino men as well as issues effecting the broader LGBTQ and Latino communities.
As the President of ALMA and on behalf of my fellow Board members we want to thank you for your support and hope that we can count on you again.
We hope you will consider making a donation or contribution to our work this year by sending a check or going online to www.almachicago.org.
President of ALMA