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    Marines attend League of United Latin American Citizens Conference 2022

    Marines attend the 93rd League of Latin American United Citizens (LULAC) conferencence

    Photo By Mary Rose | 1stLt Roman Zepeda and Capt Steven Arango, Jr., pose with Roberto Clemente, Jr., son...... read more read more



    Story by Mary Rose 

    HQMC Manpower and Reserve Affairs

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Over a dozen Marines traveled to the 93rd League of Latin American United Citizens (LULAC) conference on 25 July 2022 as participants in one of the Marine Corps’ many Outreach Program events sponsored by Manpower and Reserve Affairs’ (M&RA) Opportunity, Diversity, & Inclusion Branch (MPE).
    For several in the group, this was their first time attending an Outreach Program event, and for most, it was also their first-time visiting Puerto Rico. In addition to daily classes and seminars held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center Pedro Rosello, the Marines were immersed in local foods and cultural events at the State Department, Institute of Culture (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña), and the Governors Mansion (La Fortaleza).
    Among the Marines in the group, LCpl Gabriela Colón and SgtMaj Sigrid Rivera, both born and raised in Puerto Rico, crossed paths on another island just last year. SgtMaj Rivera served as the 4th Battalion Sergeant Major during LCpl Colón’s basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC in early 2021.
    During one of the sessions presented by the Federal Training Institute (FTI), SgtMaj Rivera and LCpl Colón had the opportunity to sit side-by-side and recount one of their shared memories of when they had discovered they were both from Puerto Rico during LCpl Colón’s basic training.
    SgtMaj Rivera received the 2022 Excellence in Service Award at Thursday’s Defenders of Freedom breakfast, and was joined on stage by her nominating officer, Maj. Matthew Lamb.
    Outreach Program events such as these have long-lasting impacts on participants, especially for junior service members and civilian employees who get the opportunity to see someone who looks like they do, serving in key leadership roles.
    “Representation Matters” might as well have been the mantra of the convention.
    A sentiment echoed throughout the conference by top leaders like Sindy Benavides, LULAC National Chief Executive Officer, and Marine Corps veteran and Chief of Staff, Roman Palomares, who, donning an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tie, unapologetically told the audience, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
    Each year LULAC hosts its conference in a different US city, and presents classes, seminars, and workshops aimed at the advancement of Latin American causes and issues within the federal government, as well as strengthening ties with non-Hispanic supervisors and colleagues for whom they might garner allyship from.
    LULAC is one of nearly a dozen Outreach Program events sponsored by the Opportunity, Diversity, & Inclusion Branch (MPE). Calls to participate in these events are at no-cost to the participant and are regularly announced throughout the year via MARADMIN.
    MPE is currently accepting requests to participate in the 2022 Blacks in Government (BIG) National Training Institute (NTI) conference from 15-18 August 2022, at the Huntington Convention Center, Cleveland, OH.



    Date Taken: 08.09.2022
    Date Posted: 08.09.2022 10:31
    Story ID: 426856
    Location: QUANTICO, VA, US 
    Hometown: QUANTICO, VA, US

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