LUSS: Latinx Unidos of the South Sound
Latinx Unidos of the South Sound (LUSS)’s mission is to facilitate the engagement of South Sound Latinos in the broader community by 1) calling attention to the expressed needs of this diverse group, 2) encouraging pride in Latino cultural heritage, and 3) promoting and expanding on existing opportunities and resources. LUSS’s vision is “to see the full inclusion of Latinos in a society where our culture is celebrated.” LUSS is a volunteer-based grassroots group that has been advocating for Pierce County's Latinx community since it was formed in 2016, during and after, two Latino Town Halls organized by Latinx community volunteers. LUSS primarily outreaches to the Pierce County Latinx community which includes people from 21 countries and territories. Since our inception, LUSS has created recommendations for actionable items, policies, and recommendations to improve the living conditions of Latinx, immigrants, and refugees in the City of Tacoma and surrounding areas. LUSS most often engages Latinx community members experiencing socio-economic disparities and barriers to access as a historically underserved community. Barriers include, but are not limited to, language access, lack of proficiency with technology, and being undocumented residents. Our core group of volunteers, promotoras, and the majority of volunteers are Latinx community members. A team of promotoras, who reflect the community, serve and engage the Latinx community in Spanish. Recent campaigns include census promotion and supporting COVID-19 outreach, prevention, testing, and vaccination promotion in partnership with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for the past three years. We celebrate our cultures with an annual Festival Latinx. All people are invited to join our annual free showcase of Latinx arts, culture, and heritage that is Festival Latinx.