Bass, Castro Join Dialogue on Black-Brown Coalition-Building

Black and Latino advocates and elected officials explored ways that communities of color can build coalitions to transform the nation’s social and political landscape during a webinar hosted by UCLA’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI). Rep. Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, spoke of the importance of finding common ground in an era when communities of color are bearing the brunt of COVID-19, police violence, joblessness, housing insecurity and disenfranchisement. “We have to never allow ourselves to be divided,” said Bass, who noted that Congress members of Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent work in sync to craft a common agenda. Castro argued that real change requires lifting up the next generation of leaders. “What we need to do is be intentional about passing that baton on,” he said. Bass and Castro were joined by Genny Castillo of the Southern Economic Advancement Project and Jonathan Jayes-Green of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, who weighed in on barriers facing candidates of color. Politico reporter Laura Barrón-López moderated the July 22 dialogue. “What we’ve learned today is that Latinos have an important role to play in the Movement for Black Lives and really in protecting Black life,” LPPI Director Sonja Diaz said. “One thing is clear to me from this conversation. We can’t return to the old normal. And when we chart a path forward, especially in the streets and in chambers of power, we’ll only get stronger if we work together.”


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