Letter From Alex
Thank you for the support you have given to the courageous and dedicated staff of Homies Unidos this past year and the continued commitment you have shown us over the past 12 years. I wanted to let you know that the Homies Unidos Board of Directors, unanimously voted in favor reinstating me as Executive Director. The organization was in excellent hands during my absence, as long-time Homies Unidos staff member, Mirna Solorzano served as Interim Executive Director.
Our successes could not have been possible without your support and shared vision to change the lives of hundreds of young men and women who now make decisions based on their love of life and desire to change the systems of inequity that pose barriers to creating peaceful communities.
February 3, 2010, after nearly 7 months of undeserved detention, I was released on bail. I attribute my release to the widespread call from communities locally and nationally asking for my hearing to be reopened and the ruling to be made strictly on facts. The court let me out on bail admitting that I am not a danger or flight risk, something that the community always maintained – I will always be grateful for that.
Doing the work of violence intervention and prevention, we are called upon to make peace, mediate and diffuse conversations to prevent violence. Our work in this area is pioneering and proven to work beyond strict enforcement, injunctions and policing efforts. To do this work we place ourselves in harm’s way physically and politically. Though we do not carry badges or weapons of any sort, we have our Palabra – our Word – that gives us the credibility to operate in neighborhoods where gangs exist. We also lack legal protections afforded to priests, social workers and therapists allowing for sensitive work with vulnerable populations. But we continue to believe that peacemakers with roots in the community are key in keeping our communities safer. I am on trial now, and so is violence prevention and intervention. While I am prohibited from doing hardcore intervention at this time, I will make sure that this work continues. To learn about my case, go to: www.wearealex.org
Homies Unidos continues to work to change the systems that funnel young men and women from our communities into the Prison Industrial Complex and fuel the disintegration of our families through deportation. Homies Unidos will continue with efforts throughout the country to challenge these systems in partnership with exceptional organizations. The struggles ahead will not be easy, but our solidarity remains our greatest strength.
I am very happy to be home with my family and am eager to continue working for peace. I look forward to meeting with many of you personally and invite you to contact me for an update on Homies Unidos’ continued work or to discuss any concerns you may have.
I also invite you to re-affirm your commitment to our shared vision by making a pledge to Homies Unidos today. With your support, Homies Unidos will continue to work to end violence and promote peace in our communities. You can join our 10 for 10 recurring donation program, giving just $10 a month – we welcome contributions at all levels.
Peace, Love and Justice