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FUERZAfest Kicks Off By Embracing Change and Diversity

FUERZAfest has opened in New York City’s Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center. As the first-ever Latino LGBTQ festival, this is a ground-breaking two week event that will use arts and culture as a medium to address issues facing the Latino LGBTQ community.

The opening plenary session, which took place on May 11th, examined ongoing barriers to LGBTQ acceptance, from discriminatory laws being created to navigating familial pressures. The panel, moderated by Hispanic Federation President José Calderón, included Detective Timothy Duffy, NYPD Police Commissioner’s LGBT Liaison Unit, Pedro Julio Serrano, human rights activist and Senior Adviser to NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, trans activist Bianey Garcia, and Senior Vice-President of the Hispanic Federation, Frankie Miranda.

Panelists engaged in a candid discussion and offered insights into fostering positive relations with city agencies and law enforcement entities. They also discussed the importance of visibility and education as means of greater acceptance and inclusion.

FUERZAfest, aims to create a safe space for dialogue and increased awareness through artistic expression in the Latino community. Moving screenings, art exhibits, panel discussions, and the one-act play competition will continue through May 22nd. For a full list of events, visit