ALMAS to host Oct. 10 panel discussion on growing diverse leadership

The Alliance of Latinos Motivating Action in the Suburbs (ALMAS) is partnering with DuPage Children's Museum, Naperville Unit District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit District 204 to present an engaging Latino panel discussion titled "SOMOS Naperville (We Are Naperville): Growing Diverse Leadership."

The event will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at DuPage Children's Museum, 301 N. Washington St. in Naperville.

This event is a testament to ALMAS' unwavering dedication to elevating and amplifying the Latino community's voice in Naperville and surrounding areas.

ALMAS is a nonprofit organization empowering and amplifying the Latino presence in Naperville and surrounding suburbs. According to the 2020 Census, 6.7% of Naperville residents identify as Latino.

"SOMOS Naperville (We Are Naperville): Growing Diverse Leadership" signifies ALMAS' inaugural event, conceived to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, observed annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The event will kick off with a presentation by Dr. Teresa Córdova, director of the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago, to provide an overview of the Latino community's presence, challenges, and contributions in the suburbs.

This introduction will set the stage for a thoughtful dialogue from the esteemed panelists attending: state Rep. Dagmara Avelar, Simitrio Cruz, Dr. Maribel Guerrero, and Jackie Camacho Ruiz.

It will be moderated by radio host and producer Samantha Ante and will underscore the presenting groups' dedication to fostering understanding and empowerment of Latinos in the City of Naperville.

Remarks also will be provided by Dr. Lili Burciaga, founder and president of ALMAS, and Andrea J. Ingram, president and CEO of DuPage Children's Museum.

The public is cordially invited to join this community event. Admission is free, reflecting the presenting organizations' commitment to inclusivity, community engagement and the celebration of diversity in Naperville. Space will be limited so reserve your spot via or

Courtesy of Naperville Unit District 203, guests will be invited to arrive early at 6 p.m. for refreshments before the event officially begins.

The school district also extends a warm welcome to young attendees from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the lower level, where they can engage in Hispanic Heritage Month-themed activities. These activities will feature the talented bicultural and bilingual Columbian-American storyteller Jasmin Cardenas.

Indian Prairie Unit District 204 also will facilitate Spanish interpretation services and offer a book giveaway focused on Latino leadership and identity to young attendees (while supplies last).

Together with DuPage Children's Museum and the school districts, ALMAS will provide an insightful and inspirational evening meant to cultivate a deeper appreciation for Latino leaders who enrich the essence of our city and to stimulate conversations about the growing significance of Latino leadership and empowerment in our suburban community.

The Alliance of Latinos Motivating Action in the Suburbs (ALMAS) is a membership-based 501(c)3 organization based in Naperville, founded with the purpose of creating an authentic community for Latinos to celebrate and preserve Latino cultures, in addition to empowering existing and rising Latino leaders in Naperville and the surrounding suburbs.

ALMAS translates to "souls," highlighting the organization's mission to amplify the Latino voice and our complex stories while also uniting the area's Latinos and Latino allies to build a stronger community.

The board of directors includes: Dr. Lili Burciaga (president and founder), Laura Navarro (vice president and founder), Elida Sughey Estrada (treasurer and founder), Diana Torres Hawken (secretary and founder), Carolina Zavala, and Julio C. Rodriguez.

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