Category Archives: Press Release

Remembering Hermano Willy A. Rivas

December 17, 2021

To our Friends and Interfraternity Community:

On December 15, 2021, our fraternity lost one of our beloved Hermanos, Willy A. Rivas.

Willy was a gentle soul with a giving heart. His love for his family, his community, and his fraternity was profound.  We are deeply mourning the loss of our friend and Hermano. There are few words to express the pain and sorrow we feel.

Willy was one of our most active Hermanos, rising to various roles of leadership. His commitment to our organization was powerful. Willy’s leadership was recognized as an undergraduate, where he served as his chapter’s secretary, historian, and president. Willy’s determination to serve our fraternity at a national level grew as he held the roles of Regional Director, Vice President of our National Council and eventually being selected to lead our fraternity as National Council President. His love for our fraternity continued to expand and our hermandad rewarded him by electing Willy to serve on our Board of Directors where he eventually became our Chairman. Willy was special. He was a servant leader who aimed to support and befriend those with whom he connected. Throughout his years as an Hermano and leader Willy was also instrumental in cultivating and strengthening our relationship with the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) and partner organizations.

Although Willy’s life ended before we were ready, the time that Willy spent in our lives was memorable and full of joy. As Hermanos, his legacy will live within us, but as Hermanos, we have dedicated ourselves to support our Hermandad. His wife Maria and children are part of our Hermandad and we are here to step in to support his family as Willy has supported ours. Join us in Remembering and Honoring Willy Rivas.

With sadness in our hearts, we find solace in knowing that Willy is in a better place. In our lives, there have been few people as special as Willy. Willy was someone that we felt deeply connected to, and even though he is gone now, we will feel his presence Para Siempre.

We love you, Willy!

La Unidad Para Siempre, Hermano! Rest in Power…

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.


SAAM 2021 Resources & Events

New York, NY — April, 2021

La Unidad Latina Recognizes and Supports Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month

As part of our continued commitment to ensuring increased awareness and prevention of sexual assault, and to foster and advocate for safe spaces, we are sharing tools and resources for Sexual Assault and Awareness Month (SAAM). Please join our organization and chapters in various social and virtual activities provided by subject matter experts.

RAINN has created some great resources to show support for survivors of sexual violence in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (#SAAPM). Visit SAAPM 2021 for details on the following:

  • #ConsentRULES: Review and share the 5 rules for obtaining, confirming and honoring consent.
  • RAINN Day (April 8): Tips for planning a virtual event and other ideas.
  • Denim Day (April 28): Wear denim as a symbol of believing survivors and asserting that consent has nothing to do with clothing. #DenimDay
  • Social Media Toolkit: Guidance on how to use social media to spread important messages about consent and health for survivors. RAINN also has filters and stickers for Instagram and Snapchat, and a TikTok Challenge coming soon. 

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)is another resource. For April, their theme is focused on building safe online spaces. They have a wealth of information and resources on how you can Get Involved in SAAM. One activity is the SAAM Day of Action:

Learn more about the #30DaysofSAAM Instagram Challengesocial media guidance, download social media graphics and Zoom backgrounds, and more.

If you are looking for support, information, advice or a referral, a trained support specialist can be reached immediately through RAINN’s online chat. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline to talk to a trained staff member from your local sexual assault service provider 800.656.HOPE (4673). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Remembering, Founding Father Edwin Rivera

August, 2020

With the heaviest of hearts, we inform our Hermandad that one of our Founding Fathers, Edwin Rivera, has passed away.

Hermano Edwin Rivera unexpectedly passed on August 1, 2020. He was a leader through example and a consistently driven and upbeat person who always put the needs of others first. What makes this news harder to bear is that Hermano Edwin participated in our virtual national convention the week earlier, actively recounting the formation of La Unidad Latina, listening attentively to our State of La Fraternidad address and enthusiastically expressing the love for the fraternity he helped create.

During convention, Hermano Edwin was asked what was one of his proudest moments for the fraternity he helped found and his response was a reflection of the gentle and kind man many grew to love. Hermano Edwin responded, “The proudest moment I have is knowing that I am an Hermano to over 3,000 men who believe in the power of our community.”

Hermano Edwin is survived by a loving wife of 34 years, Leonor, two sons Sean & Jordan, his father Edwin S. and sisters Eileen, Sandra, Mildred, Caroline and Suzanne.

Edwin was a caring father, amazing husband, wonderful brother, dedicated son and inspiring friend. He found time to lead innovation and engineering efforts with Delphi Technologies, worked with his wife in Worldwide Marriage Encounter ( and mentored local FIRST robotics teams and organizations.

In addition to the foundation he laid for La Fraternidad, Hermano Edwin was involved as a board member with Ibero-American Action League helping to elevate underserved communities in the Rochester area. He and his wife also wrote a monthly marriage blog for the Catholic Courier called To Have and To Hold at

With social distancing still enforced, his celebration of life service will be held at St. John of Rochester Church on August 7th at 10:00 AM ET and the service will be live streamed at We encourage our entire Hermandad to log in and express our condolences to his wife and family.

Hermano Edwin: You will be missed, and we honor you as we often do…

“I looked to the sky, and what did I see, I saw the 13-Knights looking down at me! They took my hand and said understand, you are a brother like no other, you’re a LAMBDA MAN!”

La Unidad Para Siempre, Hermano Edwin! We will forever honor your memory and those of Hermanos past and future who are inducted into the chapter that honors La Eternidad – Pi Sigma! PARA SIEMPRE!!!

If you would like to share any memories, pictures, or stories about Hermano Edwin, please forward those gestures to In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to St. John of Rochester Church or to any of the other non-profits Hermano Ed was involved with listed below. Please mark the donation as Ed Rivera Memorial.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter:
St. John of Rochester Church:
FIRST Robotics:

Lambda Upsilon Lambda’s Action Plan for Addressing Allegations

July 6, 2020

In the past 30 days, our fraternity has stopped to reflect on our role of promoting and condoning an environment of toxic masculinity. As an organization that prides itself on professional development and academic achievement, we have fallen short with our own definition of Caballero. Our fraternity was built on the tenets of brotherhood, equality, leadership, and love, and sadly, that same self-respect has not always been reciprocated to the women and men in our lives. La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., Stands Against Sexual Assault.

Our national leadership has invested considerable time making sure we go beyond words and focus on addressing cultural issues impacting our communities. We have been actively working to ensure steps we implement are focused on systemic change and ongoing training.

As an organization, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda has committed to the following action plan:

  • Suspension of members receiving allegations until inquiries have been completed and member outcomes determined.
  • Reviewing and strengthening the Sexual Abuse and Harassment sections of our current Risk Management Policy. This work includes expanding an already existing contract and scope of work with Limberlost Consulting ( Limberlost has extensive experience in governance, risk and crisis prevention/management and interventions.
  • Incorporating mental health, sexual harassment and consent training with subject matter experts as part of our July 2020 Virtual National Convention.
  • Implementing required annual sexual harassment certification training for all members as part of being recognized as an active member.
  • Integrating a sexual misconduct workshop as part of the expectations for interested students prior to applying to become members.
  • Incorporating sexual misconduct training into New Member On-Boarding Training for neophytes.
  • Guidance on a chapter-led virtual workshop with subject matter experts/organizations to increase campus and community awareness. Chapters will be required to conduct a minimum of one (1) workshop each year.

Our fraternity will continue to believe the individuals reporting sexual misconduct and support their courage to speak their truth. We will continue inquiries amongst our members and with complainants, as appropriate. Based on findings, will hold members accountable accordingly. We are working on additional action items that will be shared as they are finalized.

As a member of NALFO, we are co-leading the Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign & Action Committee (SA3C). SA3C was organized to revisit long-standing concerns within and among our respective organizations around sexual assault. Our collaborative work is intended to identify best practices and strategies focused on: 1) actionable steps we can take now; 2) preventative measures in training, policies, programming, and collaborations; 3) evaluating reporting practices, investigations and adjudication; and 4) establishing a process for escalating these issues across impacted organizations.

As Hermanos, we will continue to live up to the meaning of Caballero.

Please contact should you have any questions.