We are a non-profit 501c (3) scholarship group and a 501c (4) non-partisan advocacy group. LULAC Council #19002 in Oklahoma City is empowered to address multiple Latino issues. Our mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanics. Our grassroots volunteers helped establish three other adult councils and two youth councils in Oklahoma. LULAC OKC members sit on many private and governmental local boards and fill statewide policymaking seats; we strive to seek representation, declare our voice on decision-making issues and bring awareness on Hispanic concerns. Government and private professionals make up our membership as well as educators, students, homemakers, blue-collar workers, business people, retirees, men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds, young and old. Everyone is welcomed to attend our monthly meetings and invited to join our nationally recognized, oldest and largest Latino organization in the United States. Together in partnership with our communities, we are making a positive difference in Oklahoma.
In Novemeber 2001, a small group of Hispanic leaders at a Southside Oklahoma City Restaurant establishes LULAC in Oklahoma. The booming Hispanic population demanded organized leadership to meet the growing needs of its residents, particularly the under-represented. LULAC OKC was originally founded to promote positive youth activities and to award college scholarships. Within a few short months of LULAC OKC’s charter, though, it became apparent voids in the Hispanic community political leadership needed filling. Thus, LULAC OKC became the first Hispanic organization to host a political forum on Hispanic issues, making Oklahoma history. LULAC OKC also made history in being the first Hispanic organization to host a civil rights conference on minorities. Before LULAC OKC, Oklahoma Hispanics were hardly seen much less heard. Now, LULAC broadcasts loud and clear – “We are here and we will be heard!”
LULAC OKC facilitated a solidarity movement among fragmented Hispanic groups, created an environment of unity among Hispanic organizations, business, churches, and community leaders that did not exist before. Through our first-ever Hispanic-hosted political debates and civil rights conference, we created forums to voice Hispanics’ common issues in education, health, youth, employment, civil rights and political representation in the state. We harnessed our shared heritage, language and cultural strength and established a Hispanic agenda that spoke with one stronger, focused voice.
LULAC OKC has held political representatives accountable and to be truly representative of all its residents, demanded public apologies when they offended us, and protested when they attempted to marginalize minorities. We pushed and helped elect the first-ever Hispanic on the OKC School Board. Because of the seventy-six years of LULAC heritage and the courage of our early founders, we assume their role to build on that success. Hispanic collaboration, coalitions and partnerships have become more commonplace and vibrant. Revitalization of pride and promise fills the air. We demonstrated to one and all – “Si se puede”. Hispanic political interests are ever increasing. Hispanics achieving political office in Oklahoma is a reality now. It is just a matter of time.
LULAC OKC believes the key to life-long success is through attainment of educational opportunities. Our goal is to ensure every Oklahoman the right to that education. We have awarded 10 college scholarships and toil to raise funds to continue the proud LULAC legacy promoting higher education in the years to come.
LULAC OKC believes Hispanic youth will be a significant part of our country’s future. Incumbent on Oklahomans is a moral obligation to foster improved opportunities for America’s future – Our Hispanic youth. We helped prepare and develop that future through LULAC Youth Councils. Hispanic youth are mentored, guided and encouraged to achieve the highest educational attainment possible. They are engaged and empowered to contribute to the community and participate in building a brighter future. We have instilled in them pride of their past Hispanic heritage and demanded they defend their present American Dream. As adult role models, we set high standards for ourselves so that through example, we may mold and prepare our young future leaders. We will hand them the flaming torch of duty and responsibility –America’s future depends on our Hispanic youth’s future – both the torch and the future look bright.