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SOURCE Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF)
Hemispheric Conservation Latino Network launches event Sept. 11
DENVER, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado has been selected today to be the home of the 2nd annual Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF) taking place in Denver and Boulder, September 11-15, 2014. The event, A New Shade of Green, is produced by Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) and is presented in part by The Sierra Club and The Dairy Center of the Arts. In addition, ALEF will be launching the Hemispheric Conservation Latino Network (HCLN), a network about Latinovating environmental advocacy and the forging of a hemispheric coalition of Latino conservation leaders across national borders.
ALEF will welcome celebrities, artists, scientists, and community and public policy leaders of the Americas to discuss the environmental and health problems our communities face, to propose solutions and to awaken diverse communities to take an active role in the environmental movement. Some celebrities include environmental global leader Jean-Michel Cousteau and actor/social activist and educator, Edward James Olmos.
The Sierra Club said of the 1st ALEF that included 85 presenters in 70 plus events in 10 venues, "The Americas Latino Eco Festival has broken ground in the cultural, political and environmental arena, not only for Latinos but for the rest of the country as well. Let's hope this is only the beginning".
Puerto Rican Boulder resident and festival founder, Irene Vilar, launched ALEF fueled by the region's diverse Latino population into which her two Latina daughters have been born. Mother Earth has been the backbone of the indigenous peoples of the hemisphere for more than 20,000 years. Today, it still drives the spirit of the Americas of the South. Latin Americans have "nature" in their genes and it resonates in their religions, social structures and agricultural practices. The joint mission is to reconnect Latin Americans with this "green" legacy. With a motto of "A New Shade of Green," ALEF promotes environmental awareness by curating a novel annual platform for dialogue and mobilization for a just society and universal access to a healthy environment.
"Latinos are increasingly concerned with creating and living sustainable lives and reconnecting with their cultural origins which were, and are, intrinsically green, nature driven, and traditionally marked by recycling and upcycling," said Vilar. "There is a need to empower and validate the green cultural heritage of Latinos and recast the green national conversation that frames Latinos as the solution and not the problem."
By 2021, Latinos will make up over 50 percent of Colorado's high school students, 32 percent of Denver County's population and 24 percent of the under 18 population in Boulder. "If conservation initiatives do not become relevant to our cities, engage with youth and diverse communities, our ability to shape the future of our planet will be undermined," said Vilar.
According to studies conducted by the NRDC and others, 9 of 10 Hispanic voters prefer investing in clean, renewable energy sources to fossil fuels. Eighty six percent of Latinos support the Obama administration taking action to limit carbon pollution – an even higher percentage than the 61 percent of all Americans who support the President's climate action plan. This is because people of color, including Latinos, are disproportionately affected by water and air pollution.
Fifty organizations and 50 key leaders that include activist celebrities, public figures, charismatic grassroots mentors, artists, and scientists will help advance the vision of igniting a Pan American environmental consciousness and the diversification of the conservation movement. Twenty-five of the initial members of HCLN will be present at the festival. HCLN is already making an impact.
A movement to engage diverse communities is not just statewide. AFC+A was invited to the White House on May 28, 2014 to join a growing national coalition, GreenLatinos.org. AFC+A sent HCLN Director, Ruben Arvizu, who is also the Director for Latin America of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
A full schedule will be released in July. Some of the ALEF highlights include: 50 presenters, 20 films with five directors, a K-12 Eco Exhibit called "Migrating Birds of the Americas" with 20 schools, 10 arts exhibits with seven artists present for workshops, a Family Day with a Latinovating Food Fiesta, a Green Goods Fair, a Migrar en Palabras Book Expo, a Performance Fest, and a Green Colorado Entrepreneurs Challenge.
For more information visit: http://www.americasforconservation.org, www.americaslatinofestival.org. Or connect on Facebook and follow on Twitter. Sponsorship opportunities are available throughout the conference, contact: Mike Roque, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF)
The mission of the Americas Latino Festival is to promote environmental awareness and create a platform for dialogue and mobilization for a just society to ensure that everyone has access to a healthy environment. Created in 2013, ALEF promotes environmental awareness and unites diverse communities for a sustainable future through dialogue on the environment, health, education, culture, and small business entrepreneurship. The 2nd annual 2014 event will take place September 11-15 in Boulder and Denver as an environmental justice Latino-themed festival in the U.S. with programming components bridging the gap between academia, K-12 education, arts, policy, business and Latino and non-Latino communities. The festival will illuminate a variety of events, performances, and activities for all ages, races, economic backgrounds and interests.
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