Local Hispanic leaders talk racial tensions

local news

ODESSA, Texas (FOX 24) – Some local Hispanic leaders are gearing up for Cinco De Mayo.  They’re also using this as a time to raise awareness about important issues in the Latin community.

Headlines we hear often these days include Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate.

“Don’t be afraid of who you are, celebrate, embrace it,” said Erica Belanger, Hispanic Heritage of Odessa Secretary.

But some say we don’t hear much about discrimination against Hispanics.

“We’re a dossal kind of population,” said Carol Uranga, Hispanic Heritage of Odessa Executive Director.

Carol Uranga, Hispanic Heritage of Odessa Executive Director

She’s held the executive director position for almost 30 years.

“We as Hispanics tend to be in the background doing all the heavy work, doing all the hard work,” said Uranga.

Belanger works hard to educate her two daughters about the Latin culture.

Erica Belanger, Hispanic Heritage of Odessa Secretary

“My daughters will be the fourth-generation and their great-grandma is still alive,” said Belanger. “I also talk about where we come from daily.”

Their hope is that local Hispanic events will also open up some tough conversations.

“If you step up, you’re an activist, you’re a racist, whatever they want to call you,” said Uranga.  “We’re trying to encourage and promote what our culture is all about. Where we came from so that our kids will not have any kind of problem looking back and be proud of where they came from or where their parents and their grandparents came from.”

On Tuesday, we’ll be taking a look at how the Hispanic Heritage of Odessa is trying to blend being an American along with encouraging the Hispanic culture.

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