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Luis Gilberto Murillo speaks into a microphone on a podium. He is a bald Afro-Latino man with dark skin wearing a gray suit. He is facing the right speaking to an audience out of view.
Photo credit: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA News

Colombian Ambassador speaks on diversity, inclusion, and international Latino excellence, calling for inclusivity beyond borders

Ambassador Luis Gilberto Murillo spoke at the 2022 AL DÍA Archetypes gala, congratulating honorees and made a statement on improving life for Latinos.

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On Sept. 23, 2022, AL DÍA held its 7th annual AL DÍA Archetypes Gala, celebrating and awarding Latino Americans of merit in the areas of Health, Education, Science, Public service, the Arts, and Entrepreneurship, among others.

Speaking at the event was Colombian Ambassador Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s first Afro-Latino ambassador to the United States. Murillo opened his speech with thanks to Elizabeth and Hernán Guaracao, the founders of AL DÍA News. 

He continued by giving congratulations to all of the Archetypes award winners: Jacqueline Romero, José Vélez-Silva, Jose Garces, Fidel Vargas, Rubén Amaro Jr., Jacqueline Hernandez, Dr. Ana Pujols McKee, and Esther Aguilera.

Murillo gave his condolences to the family of the late Jesse Bermudez, another Archetypes honoree, who passed away this September and was honored in memoriam.

“During this month, the United States celebrates Hispanic cultures. All over this country, there are events, galas, awards, movies. Our contributions to the United States… most of the time, it is not recognized at the level it should be,” Murillo said during his remarks.

“But we need to continue highlighting the contribution of the Latino community to this country. Our connections, the results of our work, we want to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of the immigrant community, the need to connect to people, particularly people to people,” he continued.

The ambassador described how of the Latino population, 12% of them were self-described as Afro-Latinos. Murillo encouraged the recognition and celebration of Latino diversity, and of the need and importance to break the obstacles the international Latino community often faces.

But he not only called for the recognition of diversity and greatness, but of Colombia’s efforts to combat the growing climate crisis and the fight against exclusion and inequality, calling for support in these endeavors, as well.

Colombia currently seeks to combat these through international efforts, such as through progressive immigration reform as they open their borders to migrants from other Latin American countries.

He touted Manuel Torres  — the first Colombian ambassador to the United States — as a reference to follow. 

“An example because his work, his talent, his consistency, and perseverance are key to achieving our goals as equal citizens and representatives of our countries,” Murillo said.

Murillo spoke on the work of immigrants, of how through their pilgrimage they have become the perfect link connecting the biomes of two countries together to improve the well being of the citizens of both countries.

“Today in this global world, the immigrant community that took root in this country is that link, and we need to promote that link; strengthen and deepen it,” he continued.

Murillo ended his speech speaking about the immigrants that came to Philadelphia, that they were a living link between their home country and the United States, a link that would ultimately improve both countries.

“I feel very honored to participate in this event where the talent, dedication, and passion of people like Manuel Torres, like all of you that are here, like thousands of others that are not here because they are fighting to get the opportunity for a better life… for the good of others and also to highlight that they have the right to live better,” Murillo said, closing his speech.

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