U.S.-Mexico Foundation

USMF Brings Together Mexican American Leaders and Las Vegas Community in Unprecedented Forum

July 6, 2012
Contact: Zuraya Tapia-Hadley

Local and National Mexican American Leaders Come Together During Unprecedented Forum on Binational Partnerships
The U.S.-Mexico Foundation, the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, Univision-KINC 15, El Tiempo and the Mexican Consulate in Las Vegas hosted a forum with local and national business and civic leaders


Las Vegas, NV - On Friday, July 6th, local and national Mexican American business and civic leaders gathered for the first time to discuss how to facilitate significant partnerships between the U.S. and Mexico. The forum, Forging A New Relationship Between Mexican American Leaders and Mexico, sought to identify ways in which Mexican Americans in Las Vegas could develop sustainable solutions for shared problems and improve the well-being of people living on both sides of the border. The event was part of the USMF’s Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI) and the Foundation’s new People-to-People program.

Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan; U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne; U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and former President/CEO of NCLR, Raúl Yzaguirre and former U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros participated in this historic forum. Noting the challenges of shared responsibility, the speakers implored participants to seek opportunities for long-term engagement. “In order to face these shared challenges, we need to work together, engaging civil society, and developing viable solutions,” said Martha Smith, CEO and President of the USMF in her welcoming remarks.

The forum brought together local Mexican Americans from a variety of sectors. Nevada State Senator Ruben Kihuen and Nevada Assemblywoman Diaz, led discussion groups on leveraging their resources, skills, and interests to partner with civil society organizations in Mexico. Interested in building sustainable grassroots partnerships between Mexicans living in Mexico and Mexican Americans living in the United States, participants in the groups shared their ideas about how they could remain involved.  “We’re in a unique position as Mexican Americans in the United States to leverage the resources we have here, to help our counterparts in Mexico,” said Ruben Kihuen, Nevada State Senator with strong roots in Mexico. “This Initiative [MALI] will help us strengthen ties with Mexico and will serve as a mechanism to build on our existing philanthropic efforts.” Kihuen led a discussion group on Sports and Youth Development during Friday’s event.

During the forum, USMF bestowed U.S. Ambassador Raúl Yzaguirre with its first Hermandad Award for his commitment to building bridges between the people of the United States and the people of Mexico. USMF was privileged to have Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, read the USMF and attendees a message from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, congratulating the group for its work and recognizing in particular Ambassador Yzaguirre. In his keynote speech during the lunch program, Ambassador Yzaguirre referenced his Mexican American background as a driver for his commitment to fostering positive engagement between Mexican Americans and Mexican migrants in the U.S. and Mexicans in Mexico. Over 200 local and national leaders participated in this half-day event.

Click here for the full photo album from the event.



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