Roberto Maestas, founder of the El Centro de la Raza, died last week. If anyone would ask me to name one Hispanic leader, Maestas would be the first to come to mind, and not because we both had received awards from the University of Washington on different occasions.
Roberto was known as an activist and tireless organizer for protests for social justice. I chose to remember him as a very charismatic warrior. Although he often looked skinny and frail, he charmed audiences when he spoke with a thunderous, “Viva.”
He was the guest speaker on diversity for our summer youth leadership program, organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation. And frequently, he was the first person to expose our kids to diversity.
Maestas would host 30 or more youth for lunch and give them a tour of El Centro — at no cost.
We will forever miss you Maestas! ♦