Meet KCET Local Hero Nominee: Alex Sanchez | KCET
Meet KCET Local Hero Nominee: Alex Sanchez
Title: Executive Director
Organization/Business: Homies Unidos
“Alex is on the front lines of the immigration issue, stepping in as a bridge of hope for Central American youth seeking to escape violence and find their future.”
Karen Mack, Nominator
- Internationally recognized peacemaker and co-founder of Homies Unidos in Los Angeles where he has developed and implemented innovative violence prevention and intervention programs since 1998 and has also led the organization as Executive Director since 2006.
- The mission of Homies Unidos is to work to end violence and promote peace in Central American communities through gang prevention, the promotion of human rights in immigrant communities and the empowerment of youth and families in El Salvador and Los Angeles to achieve their full potential in a just, safe and healthy society.
- Migrated as child to L.A. at the end of the 1970s during the height of military repression in El Salvador. After being involved in gangs and serving time in state prison, deported to El Salvador where he met the founder of Homies Unidos, Magdaleno Rose Avila, and others striving for social change and committed to turn his life around and help other youth to do the same.
- Advocate for comprehensive intervention strategies, immigration reform and Black-Brown unity – promoting racial tolerance and cultural understanding as a form of violence prevention.
- Outspoken community leader, committed to disenfranchised youth and their families in the Latino and largely Central American communities of the Pico Union, Westlake and Koreatown areas of Los Angeles.
- Has consulted with academics, journalists, filmmakers, elected officials, non-profit agencies and advocates at local, national and transnational levels to address youth violence prevention and intervention Awards include the Drum Major Award from the Martin Luther King Legacy Association, the Lottie Wexler Award, the AGAPE Award and others.
While Mexican immigrants continue to be demonized and characterized as “criminals,” “drug dealers,” “rapists,” “illegal aliens” and “invaders” by American leaders and millions of citizens, they have essentially become “foreigners in their own land.
The informal economy is widespread, diverse, and deeply tied to the formal economy. It is also full of paradoxes and contradictions, which make it difficult to find simple solutions.
Not only did neoliberalism redefine the role of the state, it also intensified the speed and depth of globalization, which radically transformed the economy.
Capitalism is perceived to be a result of policy, social norms, and race and gender discrimination that have ensured a large pool of workers willing to work for low wages.
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