Local Latinx community groups are coming together for a benefit concert featuring singer Tish Hinojosa on Saturday, Feb. 16, raising funds to support the work of the Centro Latino Americano, a nonprofit dedicated to providing various resources in Eugene and Springfield.
Since 1972, Centro has been one of the largest resources for the social and civic integration of the Latinx community in Lane County. According to the press release, Centro serves over 600 families annually, focusing on the creation of a connected community in the face political divisiveness in regards to immigration.
Co-Director of Centro David Saez says that the most exciting part of the concert will be seeing community members coming together for a good cause.
“The funds raised by this event will help Latinos and immigrants have access to basic resources in times of need,” Saez said. “We are so grateful to have community members support this work.”
Saez, who’s spent the past three months planning for the event, is excited to bring an artist like Hinojosa to Eugene.
“I am particularly struck by how pertinent her songs about the Mexico-US border are at this time,” Saez said. “I appreciate that she is able to blend art, music and social issues into her work.”
University of Oregon’s student group MEChA, which focuses on educational rights for Latinx students, acted as a co-sponsor for the event. MEChA’s political director, Yomaira Tarula, said she looks forward to bridging that gap between campus and the larger community.
“Part of our mission is be engaged with our community outside of campus,” Tarula said. “MEChA is always looking to support and partner with organizations that strive to help the Latinx community.”
Yomaira says this isn’t the first time MEChA has worked with Centro.
“They have a youth program that MEChA students have tutored and participated in,” Tarula said.
Nancy Bray, who is a member of Eugene’s Friends of Sanctuary group that supports sanctuary and immigrant rights, has been instrumental in the organization of this event for the past two years.
“This is the second year Hinojosa has come to Eugene for the benefit of causes she believes in,” Bray said. “In the current negative political climate surrounding immigration, it’s our mission to create a thriving, connected community where all people feel valued.”
The youngest of 13 children from immigrant parents, Hinojosa’s music reflects on her Latinx heritage, often touching on the topics of immigration, border-crossing and conditions for farm workers.
“She has dedicated her career to playing music from the southwest and all of her songs reflect her Latinx cultural heritage, cultural pride and dignity,” Bray said.
The benefit concert will be hosted by the Shedd Institute on 868 High St., on Feb 16 at 7:30 p.m.