Author Archives: Jeffrey Vargas

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Observing National Latino/a/x AIDS Awareness Day and Moving Towards Ending the HIV Epidemic

October 11, 2021

Moving Towards Ending the HIV Epidemic

National Latino/a/x AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is observed each year on October 15, to raise awareness of the impact of HIV on Latino/a/x populations in the US. While they make up about 19% of the US population, Latinos accounted for 27% of all new HIV cases in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Among Latino men, those who have sex with men account for the largest proportion of new diagnoses (85%). NLAAD provides a powerful opportunity to call the nation’s attention to these stark statistics, and to focus on the actions we can take to turn the tide.

CDC has a new NLAAD digital toolkit available to help share important messages on stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV preventiontesting, and treatment. I encourage all of our Hermandad and local chapters to share these messages to bring awareness to HIV in our community. The toolkit makes it easy – simply download the graphics and copy the social media messages to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

La Unidad Latina’s greatest strength is its Hermanos. So in recognition of NLAAD, here are three things we all can do today to make a big impact for our future: 

  1. Know your HIV status. CDC recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. Knowing your HIV status empowers you to choose the best options for staying healthy. Order a FREE self-testing kit, or find a testing location near you using CDC’s service finder
  2. Learn about HIV prevention and treatment. Today there are more options than ever to prevent HIV, which include using condoms  and medicines like PrEP to protect yourself and your partners. If you have HIV, it’s important to make choices that keep you healthy and protect others. 
  3. Talk about HIV in your communities to help normalize conversations about HIV. Despite the progress of medicine over the years, many people continue to believe HIV myths. Talking about HIV and spreading the facts can help to eliminate HIV stigma and the discrimination people with HIV may face. 

CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign has additional resources that you can use to share important information in our communities:

Stay connected with CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to learn more and receive the most current information on HIV.  

I look forward to seeing how our Hermandad rises to the challenge and joins the movement to end the HIV epidemic.

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La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. Stands in Solidarity with All Black Lives

May 28, 2020

New York, NY —  As Black and Latino men, our existence is threatened daily. As Black and Latino men, we are seen as targets and dispensable. As Black and Latino men, our lives matter. The tragic and untimely deaths of Ahmaud Arbery & George Floyd and the blatantly false accusations that could have jeopardized the life of Christian Cooper highlight systemic and institutional racism and the hatred of Black lives. 

For the past few years, events captured by social media have heightened the awareness of issues that Blacks and African Americans have suffered since slavery. Now, more than ever, all people must stand up for and against injustice. The Hermanos of La Unidad Latina, with shared lived experience, stand with Black Lives Matter in solidarity against racism and police brutality.

We ask all our members and supporters to act within their communities. This is a time for all Americans to advocate and fight for change. Collaboration with community leaders, law enforcement and private citizens is needed to bring an end to systemic racism.

“…I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

May 18, 2020

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

Greetings, Class of 2020:
Across the country, graduating students (high school and college) are mourning the loss of a ceremonial event symbolizing successful completion of a milestone achievement: graduation. The global pandemic has forced the implementation of national guidelines restricting large scale gatherings. As a result, virtual commencements are taking place to honor and recognize graduates.

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. officially recognizes and congratulates graduating Hermanos of the class of 2020. For some of our Hermanos, you may be the first generation in your family to graduate from an institution of higher learning. While you may not be able to join your classmates in donning your cap and gown, walking across the stage to shake a dean’s hand, and hearing your family shout your name in unbridled enthusiasm, know that it does not stop anyone from celebrating YOU!

Congratulations and La Unidad Para Siempre, Hermanos! We are proud of you Hermanos, and wish you a successful and rewarding future. As graduates, new alumni and future leaders, we look forward to your continued contributions to La Fraternidad and your communities as we navigate new norms for a healthy and productive future.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

View the La Unidad Latina 2020 Year Book Here!

Hermano George Bouldin Gates, MBA
National President
La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

La Unidad Latina: COVID-19 Response

May 12, 2020

Coronavirus

Dear Families, Friends and Supporters:

In this increasingly unique and dynamic time that is COVID-19, all of us continue to be challenged by a new norm and a future that is every-changing and uncertain. An epidemic that has become a pandemic may very well forever change how move about and interact with the world and each other. Undoubtedly an unsettling thought, but not one that must stifle or hinder us from staying spiritually and socially connected while social distancing.

An interesting consequence of self-quarantine and stay-at-home has been the innovative ways in which we have entertained ourselves and focused on family, significant others, loved ones, pets and self. We have learned creative ways of remaining connected and engaged. We better understand the value of quality time spent being present and the increasing need to focus on mental health and well being.

The Hermanos of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., empathize with, and in many ways share, your experiences of loss, grief, and anxiety. We have been impacted by the loss of one of our Hermanos. Some of our Hermanos have recovered after being diagnosed COVID-19 positive. We have Hermanos grieving the loss of parents, family members, and friends. Our prayers, condolences and well-wishes to our Hermandad and to you and your families. We will survive this, and we will be stronger and better prepared.

As an organization we have prioritized how we can be supportive as we continue to manage through these times. A few examples include:

  • A Mental Health Initiative Team building out a toolkit and resources for our Hermandad to increase internal awareness and support including tools for sharing and distribution within their respective communities and networks
  • Exploring ways of supporting our Hermanos disproportionately impacted by the pandemic; especially our undergraduates and newly graduated Hermanos
  • Planning as an organization for whatever the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 holds for our ability to remain active and engaged on campuses and within our communities and neighborhoods

Key to successfully managing through this time, supporting our families and taking care of ourselves mentally and emotionally, will be partnerships and collaborations. We are committed to working with community organizations, academic institutions, and peer organizations to ensure broad support for each other and the communities we serve.

We are all in this together. Please continue to follow safety guidelines and to practice self-care. If we want the best for and to care for our families, we must make sure we do all we can to be here for them.

Wishing you and your families continued health and wellness.

The Hermanos of La Unidad Latina

Hermano George Bouldin Gates, MBA
National President
La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

Announcing La Unidad Latina’s Spring 2020 Neos

La Unidad Para Siempre, Hermanos!

The Hermanos of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. are pleased to welcome and congratulate the Neophytes of Spring 2020 to La Hermandad.

During this unprecedented time you experienced a New Member Education (NME) process you did not expect. It is also not the experience for which we planned. As the nation rapidly responded to the growing pandemic, universities took unparalleled actions to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. Simultaneously, we took necessary steps to protect our Caballeros and Hermanos by suspending all fraternal activities, including intake.

Despite the challenges this semester posed, we were fortunate enough to initiate 114 Hermanos into the folds of La Unidad Latina. Though all of you were not afforded the opportunity of a complete process, you remained steadfast and committed and are nonetheless, Hermanos, de la Fraternidad! We will continue to equip you from a national and regional perspective with the core components and knowledge to help you contribute to the future of our organization.

California Region – 10 Hermanos
Capital Region – 2 Hermanos
Florida Region – 3 Hermanos
Georgia Region – 9 Hermanos
Mid-Atlantic Region – 15 Hermanos

Midwest Region – 13 Hermanos
New England Region – 8 Hermanos
NJPA Region – 36 Hermano
New York Metro Region – 5 Hermanos
Western New York Region – 13 Hermano

This pandemic has forever changed the world and our organization. We look forward to your insight in moving La Unidad Latina onward.

Welcome, Hermanos, and congratulations! Thank you and our chapter Hermanos for patience, flexibility and commitment to compliance as we navigate these times.

Para Siempre,

Hermano George Bouldin Gates, MBA

National President

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.