DymallywatsonOver the weekend, I participated in the 1st Annual Summit on Black and Latino Relations in Los Angeles.

The conference was organized by community activist Najee Ali, and included Congresswoman Diane E. Watson (pictured), State Senator Gloria Romero, State Assemblymembers Karen Bass and Mervyn M. Dymally (pictured), Compton’s Mayor Eric Perrodin and Lynwood Mayor Leticia Vasquez.  In addition, there were panelists from various community organizations including Oscar De La O of Bienestar.

The Summit was held at a Mosque across from the campus of USC and was packed for a hot and smoggy Saturday evening.

The panel wasn’t without drama, including a visit from the Minutemen, but it did give concerned citizens an opportunity to speak out on how this issue is affecting them.

I sat on the media panel and posed two questions to the panel, neither of which were really answered, including, how is making English the national language a bad thing and where are Latinos on issues that are important to Blacks.

The event ran on time from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and at the conclusion, it was conceded that we wanted to do this again but with a larger time frame.

As I left the event I remember thinking to myself, it’s when people no longer come out to participate in events like this and allow their voices to be heard that we will truly be in trouble.  As long we continue to stand up for what we believe in and challenge the status quo, then we still have a chance because it means that people still care enough.

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