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PRIDE '17 ALMA, PRAA host Pride weekend gathering
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2017-06-28

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The Association of Latino/as/x Motivating Action ( ALMA ) and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance ( PRAA ) hosted a pride weekend gathering June 23 at PRAA's Avondale location.

ALMA Board President Julio Rodriguez, among other things, noted that the PRAA is an institution dedicated to preserving Chicago's Puerto Rican history. He also explained that last year's Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, was significant because it propelled the LGBTQ Puerto Rican community into the spotlight.

"It is important to remember that it took almost a whole week before the press even mentioned that the majority of the people killed were Latinx and almost two weeks before they identified any of the people specifically," said Rodriguez. "This speaks to the fact that we need to continue to be visible. When people hear LGBTQ they now know there is a whole group that is Latinx."

PRAA Founder/Executive Director Carlos Hernandez also spoke, announcing an upcoming expansion in at least one of the organization's locations. Following his remarks, Hernandez showed a Spanish-language video honoring the memory of the the Pulse Nightclub victims and celebrating the Puerto Rican LGBTQ community. This video was shown at last year's National Cuatro Festival at the Harris Theater, an annual music and cultural festival.

ALMA Board Vice President Kenny Martin-Ocasio and ALMA Family Acceptance Project Manager Cindy Ibarra called out the names of the victims of Pulse Nightclub massacre. Martin-Ocasio and Ibarra also asked attendees to observe a moment of silence.

The event featured homemade sangrias and catering by Chef Roberto Castillo, of Unami Kings.

See ALMAChicago.org and PRAAChicago.org for more information.


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