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March 30, 2021

Life, Young Latinos, and COVID-19: Where Do We Go From Here?

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A year after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the United States and the world, many are reflecting on the past year and where we go from here. It has raised questions about whose life is protected and valued by our health care system, which workers are “essential,” and how self-isolation has affected cultural, family, religious, and social life. For the diverse U.S. Latino community, the pandemic has had a pervasive and disproportionate impact with both familiar and unique challenges.

This online discussion among four young Latino leaders explored how the pandemic has affected them personally and how it has affected Latino communities more broadly. This gathering also explored priorities, challenges, and next steps for young Latinos as COVID-19 vaccinations increase, the pandemic decreases, and new challenges and opportunities emerge.

Kim Daniels, co-director of the Initiative, moderated the conversation.

Resources

View a list of articles, books, podcasts, and other resources for this gathering.

This Latino Leader Gathering was for young Latino Catholics who seek to explore the links between faith, Catholic social thought, and their lives and work and was supported by the Democracy Fund.

Participants

Alma Caballero (SFS'13, G'15)

Alma Caballero (SFS'13, G'15)

Alma Caballero (SFS'13, G'15) is the regional director of McLarty Associates’ Northern Latin America practice. She has worked at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, Mitsubishi Corporations (Americas), and the Brookings Institution. She was recently appointed to the Board of Advisors for Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Bishop Mario Dorsonville

Bishop Mario Dorsonville

Bishop Mario Dorsonville is auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington and chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration. Among his many responsibilities, Bishop Dorsonville leads the archdiocese’s Hispanic ministry. He will open the gathering.

Brenda Noriega

Brenda Noriega

Brenda Noriega is the mission educator-promoter for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and serves on the International Youth Advisory Board for the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life. She participated in the V Encuentro and had lunch with Pope Francis at World Youth Day in 2019.

Sam Rocha

Sam Rocha

Sam Rocha is an author, poet, philosopher, and musician. He is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. His writing has appeared in First ThingsCommonwealAmericaOur Sunday VisitorThe Catholic Herald, and Church Life Journal.

Adrianna Smith (C'15)

Adrianna Smith (C'15)

Adrianna Smith (C'15) is a writer and the founder of Emergent Seed, an arts start-up that seeks to support DC area emerging musicians and writers. She formerly ran a tutoring, writing, and mentoring program to develop Latino youth leadership. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.