Voces Unidas de las Montañas today announced the names of 14 community leaders selected to participate in its 2022 Latino Network class.
The Latino Network is a year-long leadership program for Latinas and Latinos already practicing leadership in their communities in the central mountain region. Program participants meet once per month and participate in several full-day retreats to share, learn and grow as leaders. The curriculum includes discussion topics about self-care, mental health, systemic and structural racism, equity vs. equality, white fragility, power- and community-building, and others. Participants also receive individualized coaching sessions throughout the year to further support their own leadership goals.
Members of the 2022 class are: Renata Araujo and Evelyn Corral, of Avon; Gabriela Alvarez Espinoza, Brianda Cervantes, Monica Perez-Rhodes, Ana Vega Terrazas, Patty Torreblanca and Luis Yllanes, of Carbondale; Maribel Obreque, of Glenwood Springs; Cinthia Nevarez Ruiz, of New Castle; Steven Arauza and Erick Perez, of Rifle; Gerardo Gomez, of Silt; and Olivia Martinez, of Snowmass Village.
These leaders come with expertise and insights from banking and finance, education, business, the arts, non-profits, and civil service and include residents from Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle counties.
“One of our primary goals is to help Latinas and Latinos already in leadership positions — whether that’s with a nonprofit, in a business or in public office — to develop and expand their leadership skills necessary to further their success and to help build a peer-to-peer support network for leaders of color in the region,” said Alex Sánchez, President and CEO of Voces Unidas. “This year’s cohort is a strong collection of local leaders and I look forward to seeing them thrive and continue to create long-lasting impact in their communities.”
During 2021, Voces Unidas graduated six leaders in the inaugural class of the Latino Network program. Graduates said the program helped them connect with and learn from other like-minded leaders who shared very similar lived experiences at work and in their personal lives. At least four of the six leaders were promoted or started new careers and opportunities since the program.
This year’s Latino Network cohort will be facilitated by Jasmin Ramirez, principal of Ramirez and Company Consulting. Ramirez helped develop and launch the Latino Network program as a part-time employee of Voces Unidas in 2021. Elected to the Roaring Fork School District's Board of Education in 2019, Ramirez is a known community leader with extensive experience as an educator and mentoring and coaching other leaders.
“The goal is to provide a safe space to share lived experiences and create the opportunity to continue to grow as leaders of color,” said Program Facilitator Jasmin Ramirez. “We maintain a strong emphasis on self-care and follow up with our leaders throughout the year to support their leadership goals. We are also excited to have our alumni return to support this year’s leadership class.”
2022 Latino Network participants are scheduled to meet nine times between Feb. 10 and Nov. 11.
Voces Unidas supports the growth and education of Latina and Latino leaders through culturally and linguistically effective leadership programs. These programs place leaders in opportunities where they can lead in their own communities to create systemic change.
For more information, visit www.vocesunidas.org/leadership.