Group seeks influential Latina hero to name downtown alley

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The Latino Community Coalition wants to name a downtown alley after an influential Latina hero and is asking the public to submit nominations. This is part of the Women’s Way initiative of downtown Grand Rapids Inc ..

Leaders of the Latino Community Coalition say they don’t feel fully represented downtown, and they want that to mean they belong to the city, too.

“We’re physically here, but if you open a book it’s really hard to find,” said Eleanor Moreno, member of the Latino Community Coalition’s steering committee.

As members of the coalition, Moreno and Sergio Cira-Reyes seek to name an influential Latin woman who has passed away and uses her name to revive a downtown alley.

“Who was a big tia, who was a big cousin, a neighbor, we’re looking for these unsung heroes,” Moreno said. “I just really want to honor our history which does not exist in our city.”

These two are saying right now, the Latinx community feels underrepresented.

“Hearing stories and feeling to myself like, ‘oh, do we really belong here? Moreno said.

They are hoping that this alley near Oakes Street and Grandville Avenue could help change that.

“We wanted to create a permanent physical representation of our culture because it’s something that’s missing in our community,” Cira-Reyes said.

These two hope that by sharing the stories of their cultures, people will become more inclusive.

“We can be here, we can introduce ourselves, we can celebrate, we can bring our culture, we can bring our heritage to this space and really think about what it means to have a place there,” Moreno said. .

The Latino Community Coalition is organizing a Live chat on Facebook Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the project.

More information on how to name an influential Latina hero can be found online.

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