Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer to speak at 2018 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference
Esperanza, the Philadelphia-based Evangelical Latino network, will hold its 12th National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference in Washington, D.C. from June 12-14 to teach and promote political advocacy.
According to President and CEO of Esperanza Rev. Luis Cortés, the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference relies on politicians from both sides of the aisle to address critical issues facing the Hispanic community.
“What we’re trying to impress is that it’s not about red, it’s not about blue, it’s about brown,” Rev. Cortés told AL DÍA during an interview.
That’s why Esperanza, the Philadelphia-based Evangelical Latino advocacy group, will host a series of prominent speakers, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at its 12th annual National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference (NHPB) June 12-14 in Washington, D.C.
Since its first event in 2002, NHPB has brought together national and international faith leaders, members of the clergy, nonprofit organizations and policy-makers in the Latino community to train advocates on communicating public policy issues to their elected representatives. The event encourages dialogue and prayer for the concerns of Latinos in the U.S., with the goal of giving advocates the instruction and experience they need to continue conversations with local congressional leaders.
Both former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have attended the event, and Esperanza has sent an invitation to President Donald Trump, but it is yet to be announced whether the president or members of the administration will make an appearance. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and religious freedom will be the main topics of discussion at NHPB this year, Cortés said.
NHPB offers an opportunity for both community members and their representatives to engage with their base of religious Latinos, who in 2013 made up one-third of the nation’s Catholic Church, according to Pew Research. Though religious affiliation in the U.S. overall has declined, the Latino population, a majority of which is Christian, continues to grow and presents politicians who advocate for religious freedom with a demographic shift.
With this in mind, Esperanza has taken a faith-based approach to improvement of education (through institutions such as Esperanza College of Eastern University), housing, workforce and economic development for Philadelphia’s Latino communities. Founded in the city by Rev. Cortés with support from the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia, the nonprofit now employs over 365 people, has a $40 million annual operating budget and reaches advocates across the country.
Rev. Cortés said Esperanza focuses on establishing Hispanic academic and business institutions to promote economic mobility in the community, rather than solely providing social services, like other advocacy organizations. This includes successfully pursuing public policy reform, the primary goal for Hispanic faith leaders who attend NHPB.
“Esperanza is incredibly grateful that while the country continues to navigate these unique and challenging times, leaders of faith and our national politicians can come together to have a productive dialogue on issues like religious freedom, immigration, and economic empowerment,” Rev. Cortés said in a statement. “The National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast offers a platform for the nation’s most influential Hispanic clergy and community leaders to engage strategically on faith and to advance the welfare of their communities.”
For more information about National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference, including a full list of speakers, click here.