Latino Civic & Cultural Center hosts grand opening in Burien

Apr 7, 2022
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Written by Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations & Retail Services
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From left to right: 1. Burien Councilmember, Jimmy Matta, Rose Gundersen, and her son-in-law, Niko Libby 2. Artwork displayed at the new Latino Civic and Cultural Center 3. Nina Martina, LCA Board Chair; Jimmy Matta, LCA Vic-Chair; Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Gonzalez, Sandra Rodarte, LCA Board Treasurer

 

WR congratulates the Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) for the March 31 grand opening of their new Latino Civic & Cultural Center in downtown Burien. This center is the first of its kind in the State of Washington and is a significant accomplishment of the LCA’s Board of Directors. The LCA plans to establish similar centers in Moses Lake and Yakima, where there are high concentrations of Latinos.

LCA’s vision is to further partnerships among leaders throughout Washington State through civic education, engagement, and promotion of the Latino culture and its heritage. Cultural centers such as this are intended to inspire learning about Washington State’s civil rights movement and recognition of its past and present leaders. The LCA plans to add a recording arts studio for youth and the community soon.

I was honored to have received an invitation to the event from Burien City Councilmember Jimmy Matta, who is an inspiration to the Latino community. Jimmy started working on a farm at the tender age of 10, became a civil rights advocate, and founded Ahora Construction in 2016.

The LCA Board of Directors consists of both business and civil rights leaders, conveying the close relationship between business and labor common among minority community organizations.

The center’s March 31 grand opening date was chosen to coincide with and honor Cesar Chavez Day. Chavez was a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist committed to improving farmworkers’ working and living conditions through organizing and practicing nonviolent resistance.

The grand opening event also allowed me to connect with other Latino and Asian American elected leaders. These leaders shared stories of the struggles experienced by small minority-owned retail businesses impacted by recent events. Washington Retail is looking forward to developing opportunities to link arms with minority organizations to support both retailers and their workforces, which aligns with Washington Retail’s Diversity and Inclusion principles.