FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jarrod Cruz, Executive Director, Lambda Theta Phi
Contact: Liz Lizama, Lambda Theta Alpha
May 5, 2017
Washington, D.C. – On April 27-28, 2017, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. and Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. hosted a two-day advocacy program on Capitol Hill. Lambdas on the Hill served as a direct opportunity for members to communicate with Congressional leaders about #ImmigrationReform on behalf of local communities.
Brother Christian Mesa (Gamma Xi Chapter, Spring 2016) was one of the participants of this year’s Lambdas on the Hill and said this about the inaugural program: “The experience I had with Lambdas on the Hill was not only empowering, but also true to our core values as an organization built from Latino unity. It is necessary to educate our members in the political arena to be catalysts for change, particularly within the immigrant community. By advocating for the voiceless among us, we speak for our communities in order to make a lasting impact within our society while empowering others to do the same.”
Members from both organizations started the program at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute office where FWD.us staff provided a training on storytelling to prepare participants for their congressional visits. With more than 20 meetings held over the course of two days, members shared their personal experiences concerning immigration in hopes of igniting change and making immigration reform a priority for the 115th Congress. The inaugural program was a success and Lambda Theta Phi looks forward to continue growing and improving it for the future.
Vice President Curtis Porter (Tau Chapter, Fall 2009) was among the participants in Washington, DC and shared his experience. “Being able to come together with my Brothers and Lambda Theta Alpha in the heart of our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. as a group of young and eager professionals united to advocate for immigration rights was a powerful experience.” Brother Porter went on to say, “The traumatic personal stories of fear and unjust treatment that were shared with the congressional leaders were captivating. These stories were a clear sign of validation to those that we sat at the table with on how important it is to assure our Senators are out there continuing the fight for immigration rights.”
Both national organizations have stressed political awareness and advocacy in their over 40-year history. As the first Latino sorority and fraternity in the U.S., they were founded during a time of political strife and injustices in the 1970s, inspiring them to take a stance on issues affecting the college student and local communities. Today, they continue with this approach by raising awareness and advocating for marginalized communities.
Yahaira (Pamela) Morales Castro from Austin, TX was one of 20 program participants and a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha. “The policies put into place in this country affect everyone to some extent, and I believe it is imperative to remain conscious and active citizens who critically assess the political context and how it affects those around us,” Morales Castro said. “As an organization built on political and social advocacy, I think this program is a perfect, contemporary opportunity to get our members engaged into the political realm and help them explore their roles and power as people of this nation.”
In an effort to invoke action and formalize their voice during a time when marginalized communities need an avenue to create a movement, Lambda Theta Alpha created the Political Education Initiative (PEI) Committee in 2012. Lambda Theta Phi created a Committee On Social Activism (COSA) with a focus on the Lambdas for Immigration Reform Initiative (#Lambdas4Reform). VP Brother Porter said that he and other brothers from around the country should “continue the work on the local level by recreating the experience for a Lambda Day at the Capital in their local states.” As national organizations dedicated to political education and advocacy, both organizations look forward to further avenues of collaboration in the future.
For photos of the two-day program, check out the hashtag #LambdaHillDays on Instagram or Facebook. You can also checkout the Lambda Theta Phi Facebook picture album online.
Below is the official list of brothers who participated in this year’s program.
Gamma Xi Chapter
Curtis Porter III
Alpha Tau Chapter
Gamma Epsilon Chapter
Gamma Iota Chapter
Silver Springs, MD
Gamma Gamma Chapter
Founded on December 1, 1975 at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. is the first nationally recognized Greek-letter organization founded as a Latin fraternity. The membership of Lambda Theta Phi is open to all college men who support its values of scholarship, respect for all cultures, community service, and the advancement and fair treatment of Latin@s in the United States. Lambda Theta Phi was the first Latin Fraternity to be recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and has over 140 Chapters and Colonies across the United States. More information about Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. can be found at www.Lambda1975.org.