La Raza Changing Name

By Editor July 10, 2017 13:00

La Raza Changing Name

La Raza Changing Name

The National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy organization, is changing its name to UnidosUS.

The change was announced by NCLR during its annual conference in Arizona, where it traces its roots. NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía was expected to officially announce the change in a speech Monday night.

Unidos, which translates to united, is meant to show unity among Latino communities but also help NCLR transform into a group that joins all communities, according to the group.

The name change comes after years of the organization defending itself against right wing groups that applied a literal translation to “la raza” as “the race” and said the advocacy group for Latinos was pushing a racist agenda.

NCLR, which stands for National Council of La Raza, will now be UnidosUS. In photo, the organization’s president and CEO Janet Murguia speaks during the group’s annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on 7/9/17.

“I think this is viewed as an opportunity and we see it as an opportunity to strengthen our organization, broaden our reach and expand our growth,” said the group’s president and CEO Janet Murguía, to the Associated Press. “And that’s going to be important as we see the challenges that we’re facing at this particular time.”

As far back as 2008, after NCLR’s conference was protested in San Diego, Murguia had said there were discussions about a name change.

While the word can translate to the race, in the context of its origins in the 1960s, the group’s name has meant the people or the community.

NCLR actually was preceded by the Southwest Council of La Raza, until it became a national organization in 1972.

According to NCLR, the group began looking into a name change three years ago to make a decision in time for its 50th anniversary next year. Community focus groups, meetings with individuals and a national online survey of U.S. Latinos were done. The work showed the NCLR name was outdated and did not resonate in the community.

Also the research showed it was turning some off, particularly young and more diverse people.



By Editor July 10, 2017 13:00

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