The National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Latinx civil rights and advocacy organization, has changed its name to UnidosUS, the group announced.
The group’s president Janet Murguía told the Associated Press that the name change was three years in the making, and was not in response to conservative critics who called the group’s original name exclusionary. Instead, the name was changed because there were members within the group who felt the term “la raza”—literally translating to “the race,” but used to mean “the people”—was “outdated,” she told the AP.
“‘Unidos’ literally means ‘united.’ It is our belief that in unity there is strength, and in strength there is power,” Murguía said in a video announcing the change. “And UnidosUS spotlights our commitment to uniting all communities across the U.S. and reinforces Latinos’ role as a unifying force and voice.”
From the video:
Unidos is a call to action for all Hispanics, but also signals a message for others to join us and to come together united in the best interests of our country and all americans. So we invite you too to join us in our pursuit to strengthen and unite all communities across the U.S.
Together, we can achieve an America where economic, political, and social advancement is a reality for all–including Latinos–where our community’s contributions are recognized, and where everyone can thrive. We are UnidosUS.
Murguía told the AP that the new name will also help the group better oppose President Trump, who, despite having some Latina staffers at the White House, has still managed to vilify the community and separate families through his rhetoric and his anti-immigrant policies.
The move comes as a recent report highlights the economic contributions of the Latinx community to the U.S. and world economies. According to the report, published by the Latino Donor Collaborative last month and recently covered by the Huffington Post, if Latinx people living in the U.S. were their own country, they’d have the seventh largest GDP in the world.
And that’s not all: the LDC predicts that if the Latinx GDP keeps growing at this rate (which it says is 70% faster than the country’s non-Latinx GDP—that by the year 2020), Latinx people living in the U.S. will account for over 24% of the GDP growth in the U.S.