|The Metropolitan Minority Caucus Council Members with FUTURO Leaders of the TN Latin American Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of TLACC. Used with permission.|
by Rebecca Zanolini
On Thursday, September 27, 2012, The Metropolitan Minority Caucus, formerly known as the Black Caucus, held its first event to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in the state’s capital. The environment was friendly and welcoming to the ethnically and linguistically diverse crowd which came out to support the evening’s event. Councilmen Jerry Maynard and Fabian Bedne welcomed their audience filled with community leaders, students, and professionals with greetings in both English and Spanish. Following the councilmen’s introduction, many other prominent community members addressed the crowd with both personal and professional stories that both motivated and inspired the attendees.
Metropolitan Clerk Ana Escobar spoke about the importance of Latino involvement in local, state, and federal government. José Amden of Asurion Company represented one of many Latino professionals in the business world who is positively impacting the Middle Tennessee community. Dalila Duarte, Futuro Board Member and President of the Tennessee State University Chapter, highlighted Latino influence in Education and the importance of professional student organizations for minority students pursuing post-secondary studies. Furthermore, the Futuro organization recognized councilman Fabian Bedne for his leadership and support in the program’s initiation with a signed framed photo from members of the student organization that now extends over seven campuses throughout the state.
Councilman Jerry Maynard, also the Metropolitan Minority Caucus President, closed the inaugural event by challenging his audience to be more involved in every aspect of society. In short, Mr. Maynard, Mr. Bedne, Ms. Escobar, Mr. Amden, and Ms. Duarte reminded us all of the power of one and the influence each individual can have on another. The event was truly exciting and inspiring and proved to be yet another example of support for our Latino community both locally and nationally.
Let us all remember this positive message not only during Hispanic Heritage Month, but also throughout the rest of the year and in all facets of our lives.
Contributor Rebecca Zanolini has written for HispanicNashville.com about such diverse subjects as violence against women, Conexion Americas' new home Casa Azafran, children in migration, the Super Bowl, paying taxes regardless of immigration status, YMCA Latino Achievers, and her own "Costa Rican rebirth."