LULAC member receives Woman of Influence designation

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For immediate release

July 18, 2013

DES MOINES - A member of the largest Latino civil rights organization in Iowa has been recognized as an outstanding female leader.

Alba Perez, a member of the Iowa League of United Latin American Citizens Council 307 and the executive officer of the Office of Latino Affairs for the Iowa Department of Human Rights, has been named a Woman of Influence by the Des Moines Business Record.

Perez was one of eight women and the only Latina to receive the designation. The Des Moines Business Record each year honors women in Central Iowa who have worked toward making a difference either personally or professionally for other women. Perez will be honored along with the other recipients at a reception on Aug. 8.

“Alba has devoted her entire adult life to community outreach, involvement and engagement of the Latino community, whether it has been through her employment or her membership in various organizations,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of LULAC, the organization that nominated Perez for the award.

Perez has a resume full of achievements. They include serving as the support staff for the initial Latino Business Association, called Alianza; oversight of a 2000 study that examined the Latino community’s contributions to Central Iowa; and involvement in starting the Latino Heritage Festival and Salsa Iowa (now Salsa Des Moines) events.

Her work in the Latino community continues today. As executive officer of Latino Affairs, she has advocated on behalf of Iowans, has improved access and availability of services for Latinos and has worked to bring services to Iowa that will help the Latino community. These will include a multi-consulate event and a webinar about education access, among other projects. She also is working with the Mexican consulate on a health guide translation. Perez has worked every day to promote, influence and achieve meaningful inclusion for women and Latinos. Most recently, she helped form a new program for young women, called the Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines.

“Alba is a true inspiration to Latina women,” Enriquez Henry said. “She believes in propelling all women, not just women of color, to a higher level.”

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. There are more than 880 local LULAC councils, which hold voter registration drives, provide awareness to residents about language and immigration issues, sponsor programs and advocate for Latinos. Council 307 was founded in 2011 in Des Moines.

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or media@iowalatinos.org, or visit www.lulaciowa.org.

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