Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS The departure of Rick Garcia
by Juan Calderon and Roberto Sanabria
2011-01-12

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The Puerto Rican/Latino community is reeling from the forced departure of our friend and staunchest ally—Rick García. His tenure at Equality Illinois ( EI ) bracketed a historical moment—one that saw our community enjoy unprecedented attention and solidarity from across town. Rick García always gets it. He knows a true ally must exhibit considerable respect for the community he chooses to engage. He did not ride into Humboldt Park on a white horse to save brown people. Although he is not shy to share his opinion, we find his wisdom valuable and he is quick to affirm our right to determine the course. He is an uncommon example of a great man with great humility.

Rick has been at the front and center of struggles for LGBTQ rights ranging from the earliest municipal anti-discrimination laws to the recently celebrated passage of the civil-unions bill in the General Assembly. There is no significant LGBTQ-related structure or concept around this State that does not bear his fingerprints. We at Vida/SIDA and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center will always honor our friendship with this exceptional man, and it fills us with pride that he has honored us in the same manner.

We are outraged that Equality Illinois—an organization that enjoyed the deserved reputation as a bulwark of LGBTQ concerns—has begun to slip and squander decades of good will. CEO Bernard Cherkasov must not assume our community will lick its wounds and politely wait for Mr. García's replacement. Rick's weighty talents and his capacity to move seamlessly between Springfield, City Hall and community-based organizations are unique. He has never, ever refused to help or participate when our community has called him. And we have called him often.

He has brought state reps and congressmen to meet and work with our leadership, and he has even served twice as a judge in the annual Ms. Paseo Boricua Pageant ( pageant for transgender LGBTQ Latino youth in Humboldt Park. ) Currently, Rick is working diligently as a volunteer consultant and advocate for our community's plan to construct a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth in Humboldt Park. The disgraceful firing of our friend creates a wedge between Equality Illinois and Latinos around the state. Rick Garcia's absence is a vacuum where Latinos were once at the table. Moreover, it flaunts a callous dismissal of the collaboration the Latino LGBTQ community had begun to erect with Equality Illinois. Before any meaningful collaboration can progress, establishment of trust is essential. Mr. Cherkasov's ill-advised firing of Illinois' highest profile and respected gay Latino has sabotaged our trust and laid ruin to our collaboration.

The two of us do not presume to speak for the entire LGBTQ community of Humboldt Park, but we do speak for the considerable number we know in this community who have met and worked with Rick. We are all dismayed by what appears to be a tantrum thrown by a CEO with discretionary powers.

Rick Garcia has always been outspoken. He is a visionary, a leader, and a statesman. He is the intellectual author of a new discourse—not one of tolerance, but of acceptance. Perhaps it is not ironic that a man who fights for the dignity of others is targeted and attacked, but Rick deserves better—especially from one of our community's own purported institutions. Mr. Cherkasov's firing of Rick Garcia was tragically myopic. Rick is not only a treasure of considerable integrity, but he is a historical figure. Equality Illinois must see this. It cannot disrespect our heroes and institutions if it hopes to remain relevant.

Juan M. Calder�"n was born and raised in Humboldt Park, the center of Chicago's Puerto Rican community. As the youngest director of the Puerto Rican Cultural center project, Vida/SIDA Bartolo Hernandez de Jesús, Calder�"n oversees the daily operation of many of Chicago's Puerto Rican/Latino prevention interventions, advocacy and LGBTQ services in Chicago's Near Northwest Side.

Roberto Sanabria was born and raised in Lake View, and has lived in Humboldt Park since 1988. Currently, Roberto is the equal employment officer and director of university outreach at Northeastern Illinois University.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

LETTER Standing up against racism 2020-06-27
MOMBIAN Supporting LGBTQ families requires that Black Lives Matter 2020-06-24
Remembering a leader: Larry Kramer 2020-06-02
Planning your legacy: VA benefits for LGBTQ veterans and servicemembers 2020-05-27
THE AMAZON TRAIL Is there a doctor... 2020-05-27
VIEWS LGBTQ discrimination is a disgrace 2020-05-18
LETTER Handling the pandemic 2020-05-13
MOMBIAN: COVID-19 pauses family-building for many LGBTQ people 2020-04-29
LETTER In praise of Pritzker 2020-04-29
OP-ED The media needs to stop reporting about Queen Latifah's sexuality 2020-04-28
LETTER Administrative errors 2020-04-15
OP-ED: COVID-19 LGBTQs, minorities disproportionately affected 2020-04-15
THE AMAZON TRAIL A giant 2020-04-15
Teachers Union: South Side Black residents need ready access to services 2020-04-06
LETTER Missing Marc 2020-04-03
COVID-19, closed churches and LGBTQ Catholics 2020-03-29
OPEN LETTER Census 2020: The LGBTQ+ community counts 2020-03-27
Chief judge weighs in on bail reviews during COVID-19 epidemic 2020-03-21
THE AMAZON TRAIL Mick's potato fertilizer 2020-03-17
Stop comparing coronavirus to early HIV/AIDS. Just stop. 2020-03-17
Open letter about Coronavirus and the LGBTQ+ communities 2020-03-11
VIEWS In 2020, being queer could be key to a courageous career 2020-02-08
OPINION 'Trans-formal' education 2020-02-05
VIEWS Warren's America would center our voices 2020-01-28
VIEWS College for LGBTQ students 2020-01-22
THE AMAZON TRAIL The tabloid edition 2020-01-22
LETTER Impeachment 2020-01-22
MOMBIAN LGBTQ parenting: The year in review 2020-01-08
THE AMAZON TRAIL All I want for the holidays is a left earbud 2019-12-24
MOMBIAN Childhood stories of LGBTQ, other social justice activists 2019-11-26
LETTER GroceryLand anniversary 2019-11-26
THE AMAZON TRAIL The Terminator 2019-11-13
LETTER Voice your choice 2019-11-13
Halloween unmasks our troubled history with race 2019-10-30
LETTER Response to hate 2019-10-30
MOMBIAN LGBTQ-inclusive books, and hope, in rural schools 2019-10-16
GUEST COLUMN Ignorance and shortsightedness lead us to the Supreme Court 2019-10-02
LETTER Attorneys needed 2019-10-02
Activists halt U.S. Conference on AIDS to protest CDC 2019-09-18
VIEWS Visibility isn't the goal 2019-09-18
 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.