The first half of 2020 changed all of our lives in ways we could never have imagined and in response, we have doubled down on the mission of Hispanic Federation, which is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. Who could have expected at the start of this year, soon after I was honored to be named president of Hispanic Federation, that major earthquakes would compound the devastation experienced by Puerto Ricans still recovering from 2017 Hurricane Maria? Or that communities of color across the U.S. would suffer the brunt of a global pandemic? And that lack of economic and legal justice in these same communities and the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor would ignite protests across the world against racism and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement?
As the pandemic continues to ravage most states across the U.S., disproportionately claiming the lives of Latinos, immigrant and black communities, Hispanic Federation’s mission to address economic, food, and health insecurities has become even more crucial. Our constituents are often on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, as medical attendants in emergency rooms and as workers who disinfect the hospitals and clinics afterwards; as food processors, delivery truck drivers and grocery store clerks who sustain our food supply and economy. Many of them work without insurance and without support from the COVID-19 emergency relief measures passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.
This newsletter includes snapshots of the volunteerism, contributions and extra work by nonprofit staffers, donors and others going the extra mile to serve those in need during this deadly era of pandemic. Whether through food distributions or by joining civil rights rallies and marches protesting police violence against members of our communities, communities are serving and lifting their voices. Together, we delivered more than $7 million in emergency assistance to individuals, families, small businesses and nonprofits; strengthened member agencies; and devoted Juneteenth to a day of learning more about the long road to racial justice.
We also learned that the delivery of justice comes unexpectedly. The U.S. Supreme Court issued two favorable landmark decisions in cases we were advocating for and watching. The court protected the civil rights of LGBTQ+ workers at their places of employment, and it found the president’s attempt to end the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be “arbitrary and capricious,” removing the immediate threat of deportation for about 700,000 DACA permit holders.
Our work is not done. The pandemic is claiming record numbers of lives while millions of others are recovering from the virus. Meanwhile, we continue pressing Congress on several issues, including expansion of health and economic relief for immigrants who did not previously qualify.
The continuing, strong support from our community is not surprising, yet remarkable for its resiliency, and the Hispanic Federation team is grateful to you for leading the way.