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NMSU-Alamogordo hosts League of United Latin American Citizens State Convention in May

Hundreds of people will gather on the New Mexico State University-Alamogordo campus next month for the 88th Annual League of United Latin American Citizens State Convention.


Woman in a red jacket
Laura Gutiérrez-Spencer, New Mexico State University Chicano Programs Director, is the keynote speaker for the League of United Latin American Citizens State Convention Women’s Award Luncheon May 6. (NMSU photo by Carlos Trujillo)
Red, white and blue LULAC shield logo
New Mexico State University-Alamogordo is hosting the League of United Latin American Citizens State Convention May 5 to 7. (Image courtesy LULAC)

The convention is Friday, May 5, to Sunday, May 7, and will include informative sessions, keynote speakers, Women’s Awards Luncheon, Image Awards Banquet and Cinco de Mayo dance. This year’s theme is “Fortaleciendo Latinos Atraves de la Educación (Empowering Latinos through Education).”

The convention will offer informative sessions from the American Civil Liberties Union regarding current immigration law, as well as sessions about Latino health issues, education and civil rights. LULAC will also conduct state level elections for offices.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales will speak about sanctuary cities, and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall will speak about current issues affecting Latinos. Deputy Consul General Richard Hernandez Lecanda from the Mexican Embassy in El Paso will also speak to attendees.

Following is a schedule of events:

Friday, May 5 (Tays Center, 2400 N. Scenic Dr.)
- Convention registration (12 p.m.)
- Press conference (1 p.m.)
- Art exhibit by Isabel Sarinana (1:30 to 3:45 p.m.)
- Session 1: Dreamer Students in America (1:30-2:30 p.m.)
- Session 2: LULAC Past, Present and Future (2:40 to 3:30 p.m.)
- Session 3: Racism in America (3:40 to 4:30 p.m.)

Saturday, May 6 (Tays Center)
- Convention registration (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Opening Ceremony (9 to 9:45 a.m.)
- Senator Udall Address (10 to 10:30 a.m.)
- Health Issues in Latino Community (10:40 to 11:40 a.m.)
- Women’s Award Luncheon and Keynote Speaker Laura Gutierrez-Spencer, NMSU Chicano Programs Director (12 to 1:30 p.m.)

- Image Awards Banquet with Keynote Speaker Brigadier General Eric L. Sanchez, White Sands Missile Range Commanding General and NMSU alumnus (7 p.m.)
Willie Estrada Center, 800 E. 1st St.

- Cinco de Mayo Dance (8 p.m.)
Willie Estrada Center

LULAC elections are Sunday, May 7, and are only open to delegates.

A national, state and local organization, LULAC was formed in 1929. Its mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.

As a response to national data reflecting low Latino college graduation rates, LULAC created Young Adult Collegiate Councils. The national office provides those councils with scholarships, leadership training and the opportunity to attend conferences nationwide.

LULAC Councils, including Collegiate Councils from all over New Mexico, will attend the convention.

Attendees are encouraged to register soon. Early registration ends April 16. For registration and lodging information, visit newmexicolulac.org and click on the “state convention” button. For more information, contact Juan Garcia, LULAC District II Director for New Mexico, at jgarcia2336@gmail.com or 832-457-6450.

Women’s Award Luncheon Keynote Speaker Laura Gutiérrez-Spencer
Gutierrez-Spencer was born and raised in southern New Mexico. The daughter of a bilingual and bicultural family, Gutiérrez-Spencer has always been interested in cross-cultural experiences and the arts. After studying in Georgia, Colorado and New Mexico, with language courses in France, Spain and Brazil, Laura received her doctorate in Spanish with a major in Latin American literature.

She was a professor of Spanish language and Chicano/Latin American literature for seven years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She then returned home to serve as the director of Chicano Programs, a student support office, at New Mexico State University. While at NMSU, Gutiérrez-Spencer founded the Immigrant Student Issues Committee. The committee provides information about the particular educational needs of undocumented students, students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status and students who graduate from Mexican high schools but are United States citizens or permanent residents. The committee is composed of faculty and staff from the NMSU main campus and Doña Ana Community College.

Image Awards Banquet Keynote Speaker Brigadier General Eric L. Sanchez, White Sands Missile Range Commanding General
A Distinguished Military Graduate of NMSU, Brigadier General Sanchez assumed command of White Sands Missile Range in August.

Brigadier General Sanchez’s military education includes the Air Defense Artillery Basic and Advance Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College and the National Defense University Capstone course. He received master of science degrees from Central Michigan University and the Naval War College. He has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

His extensive military service includes several deployments, as well as serving as Platoon Leader, Battery Executive Officer, Battalion Logistics Officer, Commander, Intelligence Officer Basic Course Instructor, Information Warfare Officer and United States Pacific Command Staff at Joint Intelligence Center, S-3 and XO, Deputy Commanding Officer, Deputy Director and Deputy Commander.