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Honoring leadership in the Latina/o community

On Friday, October 20th, DUSP doctoral candidate, John Arroyo, gave a keynote speech titled “The Power of Latino Leadership, Contribution, and Culture” at a Hispanic Heritage Month awards ceremony at Breed Middle School in Lynn, Massachusetts. The event was sponsored by the Spanish National Junior Honors Society (Chapter: Rigoberta Menchú Nobel Peace Prize) and AATSP American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Lynn Public Schools, and the Latina Center Maria (League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC, Massachusetts affiliate).

The ceremony honored “Outstanding Latinos” in greater Boston and across Massachusetts. Arroyo received “Outstanding Latino, 2017 (Category: New Generation)” for his scholarly contributions and public service to Latino society, and for serving as a mentor and role model to Latina/o youth. General consuls of Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia joined Massachusetts State Senator Thomas M. McGee and local Massachusetts Latino/Latina leadership to honor award winners ranging from academics such as Raul Ybarra (University of Massachusetts) and Lorna Rivera (University of Massachusetts), David Carrasco (Harvard University), Felix Palazzi (Boston College), and Oscar Stagnaro (Berklee College of Music); to community leaders, Jaime Figueroa, Belarmino Barrios, Bienvenida German; to cultural anchors Teresa Stagnaro, Miguel Bernal,Yajaira Rodriguez, Alberto Vasallo, Grace Gomez and Katiuska Valiente. The event was hosted by Carolina Trujillo of Essex Media Group.

In his speech Arroyo spoke about his family’s Arrival Story from rural Mexico to East L.A., as well as Arroyo’s own journey from East L.A. to MIT. "The key message from my speech was that while I physically left my home, I also never left it,”said Arroyo. My intergenerational connections to my Mexican culture continue to inform who I am, the topics I chose to study during my doctoral planning research at MIT, and the type of impact I hope to make afterwards.”

Arroyo is no stranger to the spotlight, his self described ‘non-traditional’ approach to urban planning and his continued efforts to elicit constructive engagement with his community, has brought him front and center multiple times while at MIT. Reflecting on the awards, Arroyo said, “The event was a wonderful representation of the pan-Latino experience of greater Boston, and the ways in which shifting Latina/o settlement patterns outside of central cities are anchoring Latina/o leadership, culture, and media in profound ways. Lynn was a perfect place to host the event given that it and other parts of North Shore are now over 50% Latina/o and growing.”

To learn more about Arroyo’s work in Latino communities, read an interview on ArtPlaceAmerica on his forthcoming national policy report on the intersections of immigration, arts, and culture.

Also be sure to check out his MCP thesis, available here.

To learn more about opportunities to engage with the Latino community at MIT and in Massachusetts visit:

MIT Latino Cultural CenterLUChA de MITLGBTQ at MITSA+P Latinx

UMass Boston Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public PolicyUMass Boston Latino Leadership Opportunity Program (LLOP)Centro PresenteLa Alianza Hispana, City Life/Vida UrbanaSociedad LatinaABCD City Wide Boston Hispanic CenterCONNECTMIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy CoalitionHarvard Journal of Hispanic Policy