Eddie Martinez

"As a gay man he best represents a strong leader who is an unsung hero from our community. He is a role model who has paved the way for gay men and the LGBTQ community by his bold and strong leadership." Nominator Ariel Rivera, Children Social Worker, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Eddie Martinez

2014 LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes nominee

Eddie Martinez

Title Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member
Organization/Business Latino Equality Alliance

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Co-founded  the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA), a Latino LGBT organization focused on equality, social issues, and human rights that was active in the fight to overturn Proposition 8. The organization has hosted numerous meetings to address immigration reform, marriage equality, and family acceptance as well as leadership trainings to empower young Latino LGBT youth so that they can create change and make a difference for future generations.
  • Was one of nine LGBT individuals, and the only Latino, who met with Dr. Jill Biden (wife of VP Joe Biden) at the White House  as part of a final push to empower the LGBT community - especially communities of color - to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. Has taken a leadership effort to form a broad based coalition to address health disparaties in South East L.A.
  • Was Associate Director (17 years) of the Los Angeles-based The Wall Las Memorias Project  and instrumental in building community support for the construction of the AIDS monument in Lincoln Park , the only publicly funded AIDS Monument in the nation.
  • Initially hired by The Wall-Las Memorias Project in 1996 as an outreach worker for HIV prevention programs targeting Latino men at high risk in LA County developed into a grassroots leader that brought changes to public health policies in meth and HIV . The Wall Las Memorias Project provides HIV and substance abuse prevention services to the Latino and LGBT community.
  • Recognized by the California State Legislature in 2012 for his LGBT work in southeast Los Angeles and as one of the City of Los Angeles New Faces of the LGBT Movement in 2009; named Adelante Magazine Latino Leader of the Year in 2009.
  • In 2011 received both the Stonewall Democratic Club Organization of the Year Award for grassroots work of Latino Equality Alliance, The Wall Las Memorias Visionary Award, and was named one of the Liberty Hill Foundation Grassroots Leaders to Watch.

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