Colorado lost a champion for Latinos and Latinas earlier this month with the passing of Ricardo Martinez, who co-founded Padres & Jóvenes Unidos — now known as Movimiento Poder.
Ricardo dedicated his life to social justice and he contributed to many movements throughout the country. This also included organizing Latino parents in Basalt, Colorado for a period of time.
The organization he co-led, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, was started in 1992 when parents organized to remove a principal at Valverde Elementary in Denver who forced Spanish-speaking students to eat their lunches on the cafeteria floor as a form of punishment. In the decades to follow, their work included leading school walkouts and training parents to fight discrimination, advocating for Dreamers, improving educational outcomes, and limiting the role of police in schools.
Ricardo, through his work and life, helped pave the way for groups like Voces Unidas, and we are proud and committed to carry his legacy forward.