The reception was the inspiration of Margarita De León of the UT Latino Advisory Committee and Calvin Lawshe and Ardenia Jones Terry of UT’s African-American Advisory Committee.
“The event was developed to bring African-Americans and Latinos together to share common interests and to enjoy each other’s company,” said Jones Terry. “It is important for us to come together and be supportive of each other. Tonight is the beginning.”
But ‘there was no agenda for the evening,’ stressed De León. ‘It was simply an occasion to chat, meet new friends, and renew acquaintances with old ones.’
“I have attended the Black and Brown parties in Cleveland. They provide a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy each others’ companies. It also is a great opportunity for networking. I was very pleased that the University of Toledo took the lead by hosting the first one in Toledo,” continued De León.
UT’s President Daniel Johnson, Ph.D., offered a few words of encouragement to the two communities and urged them to continue to foster the spirit of working for the mutual benefit of both groups.
According to new TPS Board member-elect Robert Torres, who was in attendance: “The fellowship expressed at this event is indicative that the leadership in both the African-American and Latino communities is eager to come together and work on common ground.
“There is a saying by El Teatro Campesino that says: ‘Una gota con ser poca con otra se hace aguacero’—‘One drop by itself is a little but with another becomes a downpour.’
“We needed to start somewhere and much appreciation goes out to Dr. Johnson, Calvin Lawshe, Louis Escobar, and the University of Toledo staff & student volunteers for hosting this fine event.”
El Teatro Campesino was the cultural wing of the United Farm Workers union, founded by César E. Chávez.
Members of the honorary committee for the reception were: De León, Jones Terry, Lawshe, Torres, FLOC President Baldemar Velásquez, Toledo City Council President Louis Escobar, Viva South Board President Celso Rodríguez, Dolores Rodríguez, Deborah Barnett, Lola Glover, Juanita Greene, Ed Scrutchins, and The Sojourner Truth Editor/Co-publisher Fletcher Word.
The Kalvin Hughes Trio provided entertainment for the event.