The Latino GLBT History Project is starting out 2012 with a larger board of directors and new initiatives for the organization’s 12th year of existence.

Standing (from left) Joe McNearney, Jorge Andrés Soto, Raúl Olivo and Jesse García. Sitting (from left) Esther Hidalgo, José Gutiérrez, David M. Pérez and Sergio López.

The board behind the Washington, DC organization responsible for DC Latino pride, met in December of 2011 and voted in Jesse García, Esther Hidalgo and Raúl Olivo. The three new board members will serve two-year terms, joining Board President David M. Pérez, Treasurer Manuel Cosme, Interim Secretary Jorge Andrés Soto, Founder José Gutiérrez, and board members Sergio López and José Ramírez.

Additionally, the board appointed an advisory committee to better assist the organization in the planning of events: Tito Gutiérrez, Joe Henríquez Mc­Nearney, María Melo, Oskar Moran, Marilyn Ramos, Alexa Rodríguez, Jesús María Serna, Wilfredo Torres and Johnny Vásquez.

Among the board’s goals for 2012 is diversity in its leadership, with greater outreach into lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and afro-Latino communities. Board President David M. Perez acknowledges that one of the main concerns of the organization is inclusivity, since there is currently a large representation of gay Latino cisgender men serving on the board

“A 2012 priority is to increase the gender diversity of the LHP leadership and in our programs to preserve history and educate the public,” said Pérez.

With a new board in place, the Latino GLBT History Project also will push for an extended DC Latino Pride, an event that has traditionally been a one day event.

“We have requested funds to complete a multi-year strategic plan to ensure a path of sustainable growth and expand DC Latino Pride into a multi-day celebration of GLBT Latino history, culture, health, education, faith and diversity,” said Pérez.

Working hard to make sure all of 2012 goals are met, the organization — which currently holds a large collection of photographs, memorabilia, and historical documents from local and national LGBTQ Latin@ advocacy groups and organizations — has already completed one initiative: creating Infórmate (“Inform yourself”), a four page monthly newsletter featuring organizational news, local leader features, and images and stories from the group’s archives.

Those interested in Latin@ LGBTQ history are encouraged to visit the group’s website for upcoming events, like the group on Facebook, and/or follow the group on  Twitter. To see the archives in person, join LHP for its monthly volunteer meeting from Noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, at the DC Center, located at 1318 U St. N.W., in Washington, D.C. The committee will organize and catalog materials. Interested individuals can RSVP with DPerez[at]LatinoGLBTHistory[dot]com.

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