Amigas Latinas kicked off its archives project with a reception June 11 at the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives. The archives, which will be housed at Gerber/Hart, will consist of photos, event fliers, newspaper and magazine articles, meeting agendas and minutes as well as other memorabilia from members of the organization.
The organization has announced that it is folding this summer after 20 years of providing support, education and advocacy for Chicago-area LGBTQ Latinas.
Speakers included Alicia Vega ( former board member and archival project event organizer ), Evette Cardona ( Amigas Latinas' co-founder and first board president ) and Alma Izquierdo ( Amigas Latinas' final board president ).
Vega provided words of welcome and encouraged the approximately 50 people in attendance to peruse the archives on display throughout the library. She noted that the library will be accepting additional Amigas Latinas materials that individuals want to donate to the archives.
Cardona spoke about how her desire to form a group for Latina lesbians led to the formation of Amigas Latinas. She also noted the three generations of leadership within the organization and thanked those who kept the organization running after the first generation stepped aside.
Izquierdo expressed her appreciation for the support that Amigas Latinas has received over the years and noted how proud she is to have been a part of the organization.
The late Christina Santiago was among the many women who were remembered for their contributions to Amigas Latinas during the speakers remarks.
Among the other individuals who spoke about Amigas Latinas' history and the contributions that the organization made to the larger LGBTQ Chicagoland community were Affinity Community Services Executive Director Kim Hunt and Association of Latino Men for Action ( ALMA ) Board Vice-President Kenny Martin-Ocasio. Both spoke about the special relationship that their organizations had with Amigas Latinas as both sister and brother organizations respectively as well as how much they will miss Amigas Latinas' presence in the community.
This event was a part of the larger, week-long United Latin@ Pride schedule of events that began on June 4 and ended that evening.
DJ Wanda, who got her start as a DJ by spinning records at Amigas Latinas' early events, provided music for the evening's festivities.
Amigas Latinas' last event, "Siempre Latina Celebrando 20 Anos," will take place on July 10 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Michelle's Ballroom, 2800 W. Belmont Ave.
See www.facebook.com/amigas.latinas.16 for more information .