Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Link to Unity: Lee Fox and Luis Suave Gonzalez

Whether we are English, Spanish, or Spanglish, we're striving to have our voices heard. From city streets to prison blocks, our voices have been silenced. Not any more. Blinded by the Ghetto American Dream and a false sense of reality, we as a people have been stagnated. However, no longer do we wear blinders, we now stand united, see what's around us, behind us, and what lies ahead of us.
In every aspect of unity, we are utilizing every tool and form of expression and dedicating it to forming and informing a Latino front/movement. We are opeing our eyes, dispelling the lie and the rise of our own unbeknown demise. We hear our people cries and we now strive to make a change. We are, L.A.C.E.O. Latin American Cultural Exchange Organization.
Dating back to the early 70s formerly known as L.P.R.O(Latin Prisoners, Rights Organization) L.A.C.E.O. was formed and has had a long history of community service within the institution. As the years passed, we branched out into the communities we came from and reached out to make a difference. Our organization, despite being formed and ran behind penitentiary walls is in partnership with Centro Pedro Claver, Lighthouse, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, 503 Coorperation, Village of Art, Art for Justice, Correspondence to Christ, and many more community groups, dedicating our time and skills no longer silencing our voice to promote community unity.
Too many of our Latino youth are fallng through the cracks of the Crminial Justice System and ending up in Juvenile Detention Centers and adult prisons. It is the responsibility of those who help create this dilemmma in our community to reach back and help rebuild our communiities. Those of us, who have experienced the effect of being caught in the street game must help erase the limited vision our youth have become accustomed with, if we are to create a better quality of life.
Prison(s), crime(s), and drug(s) have become so pervasive and so insidious it's now threatening to destroy the Hispanic community. Over the last decade, despite all efforts to the contrary, the problem has become progressively worse. Hispanics and African Americans are the major victims of crime, primarily victimized by other Hispanics or African Americans. The only solution to this problem, law enforcement tells us is harsher and longer prison sentences. Longer prison sentences do not deter crime.
L.A.C.E.O. has taken a non-traditional approach, and offers other alternatives instead of incarceration. We advocate for fairness in justice, contribute to the welfare of the elderly and shut in, act as a conduit for inmates/family through our community suporters, assist in job placement after release, beautify our community using art, un-muting the silenced voice, and most importantly, making a change for the better.
We are more that just an organization, we are the foundation to building a structure of Latino love, unity, and proper representation of Boriquen.
If you wish to know more or want to become a link in the chain of unity known as L.A.C.E.O. please contact Centro Pedro Claver , Julia Lopez, Executive Director 215-227-7111