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We Will Never Forget Those We've Lost

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ALMA has and will always stand with our trans and gender-non-conforming community, especially with transwomen of color. Every year transwomen are murdered at a disproportionate rate, even though many go unreported due to the transphobia and fear. 
ALMA is committed to working our trans Latinx familia to ensure that their lives are protected, supported, valued, and uplifted.

We will always stand behind these 3 words: TRANS LIVES MATTER!  

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Remembering Pulse

ALMA will always remember the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL on June 12, 2016. The Pulse Massacre is one of the most horrific hate crimes in our recent history. The victims, mostly LGBTQ Latinos, spent their last minutes in a club they considered to be a safe place. To this day, we continue to honor these individuals, our 49 dancers.

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I am writing to share that our extended ALMA familia is heartbroken. On March 15, 2021, we lost a member of our community, Roman Buenrostro, who passed away from health complications. He was an activist who was never afraid to say what was on his mind, he was a friend to many, and a chosen family member to so many of us.

We owe tremendous amount of gratitude to Roman. Our community would not be where we are today if it was not for Roman’s tireless work. Roman and Julio Rodriguez started organizing in the late 80s as the HIV epidemic began to hit our communities hard. Because there was little attention to the Latino community, he and a group of other gay Latino men, founded ALMA.

Roman’s contributions to our community extended beyond his work with ALMA. In 1989, Roman started volunteering with STOP AIDS Chicago by educating our Latino community about HIV and AIDS. He continued that work well into his time at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, most recently as Director of Special Projects. In this capacity, Roman spearheaded new initiatives including the HIV Resource HUB. Roman was an instrumental part of AFC, especially leading the Race and Social Justice Committee. Because of all of his work, Roman was inducted into the LGBT Hall of Fame in 2016, and in 2019, he received a special commendation from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

We can go on about all the great things that Roman accomplished during his life. To Julio, "he was more than just a colleague in the field. He was my brother, and he was my family." "I am going to remember his sense of humor, his laugh, and his tight hugs. I will always remember him, andI am so blessed to have so many memories with Roman. I will always cherish them," says Julio, Board President. 

Roman is survived by his long-time partner and husband, Daniel Skelton, and his family. We are all so fortunate have been a part of Roman’s family.

Today we mourn Roman’s death, and we pledge to continue to honor his legacy and commitment to community.

Please, hold your loved ones close tonight and always. 

Rest in your power, Roman.

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Roman Buenrostro

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The ALMA Familia is deeply saddened by the recent news of the tragic death of Chicago Trans activist, Elise Mallory. We extend our condolences to Elise’s friends and family, and to the communities that Elise helped cultivate. Elise was a fierce trans advocate and leader, and a compassionate, sweet, and kind individual to all who knew her. 

A vigil honoring Elise will be held today, March 20th, at 6:30pm in Andersonville. Community will gather at Clark and Farragut. 

Thank you, Elise, for all of your service to the Trans community and beyond. Thank you for your friendship. For existing. You will be missed. 

Elise Mallory

ALMA joins our Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities in our collective mourning over the passing of community activist and member of our ALMA familia, Ed Negron.
Ed was an activist for Latinx inclusion, bisexual visibility, a certified alcohol and drug (ab)use counselor and advocate for those recovering for substance usage. Ed used his own personal story, as a former gang member and his commitment to his sobriety, to help others. 
Ed was always there to remind us that behind these social problems there were real people hurting in search of support.
Through his photography, Ed displayed so many moments for our community. His art beautifully captured our communities’ moments of joy and resiliency.
Ed’s legacy and contributions to our communities will live on for so many years and will be remembered by many.

We extend our deepest condolences to Ed’s family and friends. 

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Ed Negron

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