On Saturday, Oct. 16, The Concilio came together with families and community members to kick off its 40th anniversary outdoors at Kiest Park in Dallas. The event, which celebrated the nonprofit organization’s 40th anniversary theme of “Juntos Podemos” (“Together We Can”), commemorated its long history of unlocking opportunities for Latino families in North Texas. In fact, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson officially proclaimed October 16, 2021, as “The Concilio for Latino Equity Day.”
In her remarks to the audience, Florencia Velasco Fortner, President and CEO of The Concilio, spoke about the importance of Latino families to the strength of the North Texas community and The Concilio’s promise to continue championing them: “Today, 41% of the population in Dallas-Fort Worth is Latino. The strength of the Latino community is critical to the health of our region. And the foundation of the Latino community is families. We know Latino families are ready for opportunity. We all want our children to have even more opportunity in the next generation. We share your dreams, and that’s why, as the Latino community has grown, The Concilio has too.”
The lively event, sponsored by Atmos Energy, featured something for everyone. Families enjoyed food, music, live performances by Grupo Juvenil de Ballet Folklórico Hispano de Dallas, and family portraits. Children were treated to popsicles, balloon animals and a chance to decorate a mural that will be displayed at The Concilio.
In the spirit of the “Juntos Podemos” theme, The Concilio also recognized community partners for their collaboration in serving the Latino community, including La Alianza DFW, Bachman Lake Together, Los Barrios Unidos, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, League of United Latino American Citizens (LULAC), LULAC National Education Service Center, and Rosa es Rojo.
The program also included presentations from Mary Elbanna, Chief of Staff for Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who presented the official proclamation from City of Dallas to The Concilio; Enrique MacGregor, Dallas City Plan Commissioner, District 1, who spoke about the power of partnership and the importance of the Latino community to North Texas; and a special giveaway by the Helpful North Texas Honda Dealers, who marked the occasion by presenting groceries and gift cards to families served by The Concilio.
The Concilio has served 250,000 people since its founding in 1981 and is proud to be a trusted resource for Latino and other diverse families seeking to build a better life for themselves and their children. For 40 years, The Concilio has unlocked education, health and economic opportunities for Latino and other diverse families through grassroots outreach. The organization’s culturally responsive parent engagement programs have empowered families in 24 regional school districts, equipping 11,000 families annually to forge a path to greater academic achievement, health and fulfilled potential. For more information, visit www.theconcilio.org.