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ALMA Chicago was founded in 1989 to fight for the rights of the Latinx Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Gender-expansive community by advocating for fairness and equality and affirming Latinx LGBTQ+ culture. With nearly thirty-five years of service focused on advocacy, leadership and pride, ALMA is one of the longest-serving Latinx LGTBQ+ organizations in the United States.

Join us for an unforgettable evening of celebration at our Annual Community Reception, highlighting the brilliance of the Latinx LGBTQ+ community and the outstanding work of ALMA Chicago. This community-focused event promises to bring together approximately 200 attendees, including community leaders and elected and appointed officials. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to socialize, network, and show your support!

At this year's Community Reception we celebrate Secretary Dulce M. Quintero and their groundbreaking leadership as the first nonbinary individual to helm a state agency. They are truly the embodiment of Latinx LGBTQ+ leadership, and we are proud to present them with the esteemed ALMA del Líder award in recognition of their incredible achievements.

ALMA del Líder Award

The ALMA del Líder (Soul of a Leader) award was established in 2023 as a means of recognizing an individual's commitment to advocating for and impacting the lives of others in the LGBTQ+ community. The awardee fully embodies the ideals of a true servant leader in their personal and professional lives. The inaugural ALMA del Líder recipient is Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Dulce Quintero. 

2023 ALMA del Líder Awardee 

Secretary of Illinois Department of Human Services

Dulce M. Quintero

Dulce M. Quintero was appointed Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) by Governor JB Pritzker in September 2023. Before that, they served as IDHS Assistant Secretary of Operations beginning in 2019, where they led the department’s COVID-19 response with a focus on equity, and oversaw areas such as human capital, information technology, budget, and finance. Quintero is an award-winning and prominent community builder and innovator, having long served Illinoisans in both the health care and human services sectors, with a particular focus on LGBTQIA services and advocacy. They were inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2017 and they continue to be an out and proud LGBTQIA and nonbinary leader, activist, and passionate social change maker. Before joining IDHS, Quintero served as Director of Operations for the Erie Humboldt Park Health Center, a community health center providing affordable and comprehensive medical services on Chicago’s Northwest side. There, they led day-to-day operations and implemented programs including a comprehensive HIV Care program, dental services, and a family practice medical residency. Under their leadership, the health center grew to serve over 9,400 patients annually. Quintero also founded and operated the Casa Corazon Youth Drop-in Program at La Casa Norte, one of Chicago’s few safe spaces serving LGBTQIA youth on the city’s West Side. Quintero was born in Mexico to migrant farm workers and moved to Chicago at age nine.  Quintero’s community engagement has included their high-level involvement in the Chicago Dyke March and service as a founding board member of Orgullo en Acción where they helped organize the Chicago Latino Pride Picnic, the first event of its kind. They currently serve as a board member of the Association of Latinos Motivating Action.  Quintero holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California-Davis, and they have completed a non-profit leadership academy with The Center for Leadership. Quintero credits the integration of their identities as a Mexican immigrant, LGBTQIA activist, former street vendor, member of the community of people with disabilities, and non-profit leader as meaningfully informing their career at IDHS.

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