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Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities

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SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2016    
Montgomery County Council to Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Special Event hosted by Councilmember Nancy Navarro will focus on 'Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future.' 

Wheaton, MD - Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Rockville will host a panel discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders whose work in community development and business expansion has helped to shape the County. Panelists for the special Hispanic Heritage Month event will share their life experiences and achievements and discuss issues of importance for Hispanic and Latino residents.

Those sharing their experiences with County Councilmembers, invited guests and the public as part of the "Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future" event will include our Executive Director, Marla Bilonick. She will be featured on a panel as well as in a Hispanic Heritage Month video along with other esteemed Hispanic representatives from around the County. When speaking of her invitation to participate, Marla Bilonick stated: "I am honored to be a part of this event and grateful to Nancy Navarro for including the Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC. LEDC, a 25-year old nonprofit with 33 bilingual staff, has been located in and providing services to Montgomery County residents for over a decade. Our leadership, staff, and clients all contribute to the rich Hispanic heritage of the County through service and direct investment in the County by owning homes and small businesses here. We are happy for the opportunity to celebrate the Hispanic contribution to the County's economic growth."
The Hispanic Heritage Month event will take place in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The special ceremonies will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM-Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will also be streamed.
The Hispanic Heritage Month commemoration will recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America and Spain. The event will include pre-recorded interviews with community stakeholders and a panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship, community development and socio-economic equality.
According to the Montgomery County Planning Department, 197,396 County residents self-identify as Hispanic, which represents 19 percent of the population. In this group, 62,791 residents are from El Salvador, 17,597 are from Mexico, 12,871 are from Peru, 12,456 are from Guatemala and 10,370 are from Honduras. The median household income for these residents is $68,389 and 57 percent of the population is younger than age 34. More information can be found here.
"The Hispanic/Latino community in our County mirrors the nation," said Councilmember Navarro, who is the first Latina elected to the Council and serves as chair of the Council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. She also serves on the Education Committee and is a member of President Obama's Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
"It is a young, hard-working and forward thinking community," said Councilmember Navarro. "Contrary to the negative rhetoric espoused by some, this community continues to make valuable contributions to the fabric of our County and our nation. This month we celebrate our shared heritage and we salute those who make a difference each and every day."
Published in Press Releases


MEDIA CONTACT: Marla Bilonick
(202) 540-7412   

LEDC Chosen To Spearhead the Greater Washington, DC area outreach for National Campaign Against Housing Discrimination

Washington, D.C.­ - LEDC has been selected to conduct Washington D.C. outreach as part of a National Fair Housing Media Campaign, in partnership with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), designed to engage and educate people about their rights as homeowners and tenants. Using social media, public service announcements and community outreach, partner organizations in 10 different cities including the District will inform residents on how to identify various forms of housing discrimination and what they can do to stop it.

"Racial and ethnic discrimination against homebuyers and renters continues to be a problem across many communities in the United States," said Walda Yon. "We thank NALCAB and HUD for making these vital resources available so that we can educate the Greater Washington area residents about their fair housing rights."

The National Fair Housing Media Campaign, launched officially on August 17th, will engage and inform African­ American, Latino, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other communities about discriminatory housing practices, their rights under the federal Fair Housing Act, and HUD resources. According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, minority homebuyers and tenants are not always aware when they have been subjected to discrimination or even of their rights and protections afforded by the Fair Housing Act.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting 202-588-5102 or by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669­9777 (voice) or (800) 927­9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at


Published in Press Releases


Request for Designs

Fair Housing Education and Outreach Campaign


With funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is participating in a national campaign to raise awareness of housing discrimination against individuals based on their national origin and to educate individuals about their rights under the Fair Housing Act. In addition to national outreach efforts led by our national partners, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) and National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), we are conducting local education and outreach efforts through our social media platforms and local networks. To enhance our outreach efforts, we are requesting graphic designs created by local artists that communicate the theme of our campaign, reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of our community, and can be disseminated through social media to raise awareness of fair housing rights and protections for individuals. The artist whose design is selected will receive a $1,000 honorarium. The theme for our campaign is: Fair Housing. Shared Opportunity in Every Community.

About Us

The Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) community development corporation founded in 1991. LEDC's mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities.

Description and Guidelines for Design

LEDC is requesting graphic designs that convey the theme of our fair housing campaign, reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of our community, and raise awareness of housing discrimination based on national origin, fair housing rights, and how to take action against discrimination. Design submissions will be reviewed by a committee comprising representatives from LEDC and our national partners. The committee will select one design, which will be submitted to HUD for approval to be used in our campaign. The artist of the selected design will receive a $1,000 honorarium for their work. If approved by HUD, the design will be incorporated into our social media campaign. HUD reserves the right to deny use of the design in our HUD-funded social media campaign. LEDC, our national partners, and HUD will retain all rights to the selected and approved design. Artists should keep the following in mind when creating their work for submission:

  •          The theme of our campaign is: Fair Housing. Shared Opportunity in Every Community.
  •          The campaign's goal is to increase awareness of fair housing rights and how to report discrimination.
  •          The campaign will focus on educating individuals who may face housing discrimination based on their national origin.
  •          The specific format of the design work is open, but all submitted designs should be easily shared via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
  •          For basic facts about the Fair Housing Act please visit the following website:

Instructions for Submission

Submit the following to our DC Office [LEDC 641 S St NW Washington, DC 20001 or by email] by 11:59pm on Sunday, September 25, 2016:

  •          Graphic design work (high resolution)
  •          Short paragraph describing the graphic design work and how it will help meet the goals of the campaign (500 words)
  •          Short biography (500 words)


  •          Request for designs released – August 30
  •          Submissions from artists due – September 25
  •          Announcement of selected design – October 28

Payment of Honorarium

To receive the $1,000 honorarium, the selected artist must submit an IRS Form W-9 and release form to LEDC. LEDC will provide these forms to the selected artist. Payment will be issued in the form of a check from LEDC made out to the artist and must match the name shown on the W-9.


For questions related to this request, please contact:

Jorge Rodriguez-Larrain at 202-540-7740 or

Click here to learn more!
Published in LEDC Events

SAVE THE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2016 - Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching

Are you a food, beverage or craft brewing small business owner? Are you looking for marketing, packaging, legal, financial or sales and distribution advice? We can help!

When: Monday, September 12, 2016

Time: 7:00-9:30pm

Where: WeWork Wonder Bread Factory 641 S Street NW- Ground Level

Published in LEDC Events
Leda Hernandez Appointed Chief Operating Officer-COO of LEDC
~Ms. Hernandez charged with oversight of key initiatives at the organization~
August 1 – Washington, D.C. Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

Leda Hernandez joined LEDC in 1998 and has worked in LEDC’s Finance & Administration Department for the past 18 years. Most recently, as Controller, Leda spent a decade leading all bookkeeping and procurement activities at LEDC as well as managing and reconciling bank accounts for the organization. She will now take on the role of Chief Operating Officer-COO, overseeing strategic and long-term initiatives for LEDC. Specifically, she will be charged with duties including implementation of LEDC’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan objectives; oversight of annual program planning and budgeting; legacy partner relationship management; and execution of LEDC’s external events. This promotion is effective on August 1st, 2016.

Ms. Hernandez stated; “I am very excited and grateful to take this opportunity to continue my professional growth at this great and amazing organization. I am very committed to LEDC--- I believe in our mission, our clients, and our communities."  
Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center, speaks about Leda’s appointment; "I met Leda Hernandez in 1999, when I first worked at LEDC. I was immediately struck by her energy and passion for the work we do in the community. When I returned to LEDC in 2012, that spark in Leda had only grown stronger. She is committed and capable and will definitely succeed in this role---a role that is key to taking LEDC to the next level. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Leda in her new capacity. Hearty ‘felicitaciones’ are in order!” 
About the Latino Economic Development Center
The Latino Economic Development Center is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities.
Published in Press Releases
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