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On Thursday, June 24, Axios justice & race reporter Russell Contreras discussed the state of LGBTQ rights, advocacy, and policymaking in the Latino community and how the pandemic has impacted resources for underserved LGBTQ Latino individuals, featuring Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Latino Equality Alliance executive director Eddie Martinez.

Rep. Torres discussed LGBTQ history, the Equality Act currently being held up in the Senate, and his role as the first openly LGBTQ Black Latino member of Congress.

  • On important Latino figures in LGBTQ history: "Historically, the story of the LGBTQ civil rights movement has been whitewashed, but increasingly there's been recognition of the contributions of LGBTQ Latinos like Sylvia Rivera. But it took a long time coming to listen to the conventional narrative of Stonewall."
  • On the difference between legal and social equality: "Communities of color, in particular, recognize that marriage equality is only one component of legal equality and legal equality is only one component of social equality...Even if we passed the Equality Act, there will continue to be LGBTQ youth who are bullied by their peers at school [and] evicted from their homes."

Eddie Martinez highlighted coalition-building in the LGBTQ community in California and the impact of housing and education on the well-being of LGBTQ Latino teens.

  • On intersectionality in the LGBTQ community: "[In 2008] the LGBTQ folks realized if we've got to win support for our rights, we've got to support the rights of others. That's when a lot of folks started building coalitions being in solidarity with workers rights, immigrant rights."
  • On the homelessness crisis for Latino LGBTQ teens: "We need to make sure that we fight for safe schools, healthy schools...It all comes down to making sure they have nurturing and healthy and safe environments to grow up in."

Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Managing Director; Philanthropic Market Executive at Bank of America Patricia Chavez who discussed initiatives to support the Latino community following the pandemic.

  • "One way we [supported] the Hispanic Latino community is through a partnership with a health care provider...We helped them provide services such as an increased clinic and staffing care, coronavirus testing, treatment...I'm very proud to be part of that, especially seeing the needs in California and the disproportionate impact on the Hispanic Latino community in terms of their roles as frontline workers and caretakers."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Government Accountability Office hits media for lacking Latinos

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Latinos are severely underrepresented in the media industry and have made few gains in film, television, or newsrooms since 2014, according to a preliminary U.S. Government Accountability Office report.

The big picture: The study by Congress's watchdog followed a request from U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who has been speaking out about the lack of Hispanic staffers in media outlets and the stereotypes that persist from that exclusion.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.