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Film Screening: Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice
October 19 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Join YHPAA and our partners GRITO Austin and KLRU-TV, Austin PBS for a documentary film screening on the life and efforts of Willie Velasquez.
With his rallying cry of “Su voto es su voz” (“your vote is your voice”), Willie Velasquez began a grassroots movement that changed the nation’s political landscape and paved the way for the growing power of the Latino vote in America. He started the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, launching 1,000 voter registration drives in 200 cities, creating a pathway for Latinos to finally have a voice in government and underscoring the growing power of the Latino vote. In 1974, inspired by the Voter Education Project aimed at African American voting rights, Velasquez led an unprecedented effort that was the driving force for millions of registered Latino voters across the nation and numerous “get out the vote” efforts that exist today. This is the story of how a young boy growing up in the poor barrio of San Antonio Texas, questioned the lack of Latino representation in his city government, grew up to be a student activist leader in the center of the Civil Rights Movement for Latinos, and then became a young Latino statesman, leading one of the most important efforts in the history of Latino empowerment in America. The film looks at Latino millennials and how their future vote will affect the American political landscape and at contemporary issues facing Latinos today and how that translates to the ballot box.