NewsCovering Kentucky


ONE Lexington hosts workshop to learn more about engaging Latino community

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jun 27, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington’s community came out to the Marksbury Branch of the Lexington Public Library to learn more about how they can engage the Latino community.

Ronald Delgado, a job counselor at Jubilee Jobs of Lexington, attended the workshop. He says, "My mother is Mexican, my dad Ecuadorian, and so we've lived in Lexington almost our entire lives and we've seen the city grown so quickly, we've seen the Latino community grow so quickly but it's always struggled. Like really reaching out to us, really speaking to us."

That was the goal of many community partners at the workshop. ONE Lexington hosted the workshop to find more opportunities for equitable and inclusive programs. Many attendees work in the community and say they can see the barriers.

Delia Virto is a court advocate at The Nest. She explains that the barriers include " the culture in general. You know it's very difficult, especially for youth, because their parents most of the time don't speak English, so it's very hard to communicate with them. So, I think finding ways to overcome those barriers will be like a perfect way to support them."

Data USA estimates that Lexington's Latino population is slightly more than seven percent as of 2022. ONE Lexington’s leaders explain that this workshop was highly requested to learn more about Latino perspectives and experiences.

ONE Lexington’s crisis response coordinator, Kenneth Payne, says, "I think a lot of times we go into those spaces with our ideals, our mentality, but we do a disservice when we don't bring those who are leaders in those communities, allow them to instruct us and tell us how to better serve those communities."

The goal of the workshop was about listening, learning, sharing and taking away new ideas that celebrate Lexington’s diversity.

Delgado says, "It's hard to communicate those experiences but if we have people in our community -- the intellectual side of it, the scholars -- come out, do these sort of trainings and really engage people that have influence and power and friends to sort of understand the experience, and understand that any growth that Lexington has, and that any growth it continues to have, is going to rely on a well-established and thriving Latino community."

For more information about ONE Lexington, its upcoming events, and how to get involved, you can reach out to them and visit the City of Lexington's website here.