The Upstate Latino Summit is hosted in a different city each year. On Wednesday, October 11th it’ll be hosted at the Radisson Hotel here in Utica.
Tthe Mohawk Valley Latino Association has been busy moving into new offices as well as planning the event that takes a year of preparation.
“As soon as one ends in another city we start preparing the next day,” said founder and president of MVLA, Sonia Martinez.
Martinez said since the beginning the event has been about educating the public about contributions and challenges the Hispanic community faces in central and upstate New York.
“The work our community has been doing and the needs…Raise the awareness of their needs,” said Martinez.
Many elected officials attend the conference in efforts to educate and learn about those challenges, this year assemblyman Marcos Crespo from the Bronx and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be keynote speakers
“Some of them what they always say is they were not aware of some of the things that go on in the community,” said Martinez.
That’s why a big focus during this conference will be workshops were panel members will speak on their expertise within healthcare, immigration, education and the workforce.
“There are over 60 latinos owned business just in the city of Utica and growing so those panel members are experts on different things, of challenges and hopefully bring solutions to those challenges,” said Martinez.
As an advocate for the Hispanic community tackling those challenges, Martinez was recently inducted with the Oneida County living legend award.
“This is just a little step that we’re going to be there permanent as part of the history,” said Martinez.
Another proud moment for her is after 14 years, they’ll be moving into new office space in hopes to expand their programs.
“We’re finally going to have an office on the first floor and bigger office and area a space that we can utilize for different programs,” said Martinez.
Registration starts at 7:45 Wednesday morning at the Radisson Hotel or you can visit www.mvlautica.org to register in advance.