SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Latino Economic Development Center is extremely disappointed by last Tuesday’s incident where inappropriate comments were made pertaining to Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro’s accent.
“It is disappointing that in 2021, people are still perpetuating these dehumanizing and offensive stereotypes. Accents speak to our community’s resilience and perseverance, and should never be used as a tool to further divide society,” stated LEDC Executive Director/CEO Marla Bilonick. “We hope that in a time where social justice issues are at the forefront, more people can comprehend how despicable this behavior is.”
LEDC is extremely proud to work with Councilmember Navarro to uplift Latinos and other underserved communities in the county. Our proudest collaboration has been in Wheaton, where LEDC was able to implement Councilmember Navarro’s vision for preserving small and minority-owned businesses around the Wheaton Triangle during and beyond the large-scale, multi-year county construction project that took place there. Thanks to her foresight, the Triangle’s small business community continues to thrive and may have even had a head start in combatting economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope this incident can be a lesson, not just to correct the individuals who made the damaging remarks, but to remind the larger community how pervasive this sort of discrimination is.
Rather than focus on the unfortunate actions that compelled us to issue this statement, we would prefer to highlight Councilmember Navarro’s incredible career accomplishments. She is an example to all women, and to all Latinas on this International Women’s Day. You can read all about her many achievements here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Navarro/about.html.
About The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)
Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses, but too many are unable to turn those dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other underserved communities in DC, MD, VA, and Puerto Rico with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, join with their neighbors to keep their rental housing affordable, and start or expand small businesses.