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La Liga de Las Americas

13th LWLI highly successful

Ypsilanti: This year’s Latina/o Workers Leadership Institute (LWLI), the 13th, was held April 6 to 9 at Eagle Crest Conference Resort in Ypsilanti MI and dedicated to Alejandro Alvarez (1954-2005).

According to LWLI conference coordinator Julio César Guerrero (MSU Office of Student Services), “Brother Alvarez was a cultural activist,” a poet and a singer, born in Michoacan, México on April 5, 1953, and “who delivered himself to the people through his talent and unwavering devotion to just causes.”

Shown above are members of the 2006 Latina/o Workers Leadership Institute (LWLI) Planning Committee, which was held April 6 to 9 at Eagle Crest Conference Resort in Ypsilanti MI and dedicated to Alejandro Alvarez. LWLI in addition to its many workshops passed a resolution condemning HR 4437.

Alvarez was a member of the United Steelworkers International, Local 1010, in Gary, Indiana. He was an active participant of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)’s successful campaign against Campbell’s and active in the LWLI.

This year’s workshop themes included: Youth and Unions, Basic Union Skills, La Onda Latina: Pride in Our Culture, Re-Building Our Unions: Activism from the Bottom Up, Parliamentary Procedure, and Workers’ Rights.   

Scheduled keynote speakers included Paul Vásquez, AFL-CIO Senior Field Staff Representative, and Irasema Garza, Director of the Women’s Department, National AFSCME.

On Saturday, April 8th, the members of LWLI honored Tecumseh resident Rose Gonzáles  and Rico Neller of La Prensa. Mrs. González was awarded the César Chávez/Jane González Award for her years of active support of Latino causes.

According to LWLI, “Sister Rose’s deep cultural roots have made her a strong advocate of La Raza in programs like English as a Second Language in the Tecumseh School District, a translator for the Department of Social Services, a member of the Hispanic, Native American and African American Committee, and the Michigan Hispanic Coalition Board.”

Neller, Editor of La Prensa, was awarded the Domingo “Nick” Reyes LWLI Media Award.

According to LWLI, “Brother Rico is a member of a rare breed of individuals that manages to successfully combine business and ideology. His entrepreneurship makes it possible for people from all corners of the community to come together.”

Nick Reyes was a well known Chicano media activist.


LWLI is sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. This year’s conference co-coordinators were Julie Alvarado-Zuzga (UAW Local 400) and Rudy Reyes (UAW Local 602).

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