Press Release

AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus Elected President of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

For Release:


Alexis Lopez

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—On Saturday, August 5, Evelyn DeJesus, the executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, was unanimously elected to serve as the national president of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement during its national membership convention. DeJesus will serve a four-year term alongside Executive Vice President Xochitl Cobarruvias and Secretary-Treasurer Sergio Rascon.

As the national president, DeJesus will lead LCLAA’s executive board in carrying out its mission of organizing and empowering Latino/as in the labor movement in an effort to bolster workers’ rights and their involvement in the democratic process. She will work with LCLAA’s executive director and its affiliates to represent over 2 million Latino/a workers in the AFL-CIO.

“As a Puertorriqueña in New York City’s Lower East Side, I was surrounded by hardworking Latino/as my entire life,” said DeJesus. “Today, it is an absolute honor to be elected LCLAA’s national president—an opportunity to continue fighting for the community that raised me. I look forward to working alongside LCLAA’s executive vice president and secretary-treasurer, the board and affiliates to mobilize and embolden working Latino/as and their families.”

As the AFT’s first Latina officer in its 107-year history, DeJesus has extensive experience advocating for workers’ rights, racial justice and immigrants’ rights nationally. She currently chairs the AFT’s Latino Issues Task Force and presides over the AFT Asian American and Pacific Islander Task Force and the AFT LGBTQIA+ Task Force. DeJesus is also the president of the National Association for Bilingual Education, a board member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the National Immigration Forum, the vice chair of the AFL-CIO’s Immigration subcommittee and a member of the AFL-CIO’s Racial Justice Task Force. In 2022, DeJesus was appointed to the White House Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. DeJesus’ experience in uplifting Latino and marginalized communities will inform her work as the national president of LCLAA.

“A trade unionist and educator through and through, Evelyn leads with unwavering devotion, grace and courage, and I am confident in her ability to bring Latinos together to fight for their rights at work and uplift the community,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Latinos are the largest minority in the United States, and Evelyn has dedicated her life to empowering Latino families in the labor movement and in the political process. She is driven to win on the issues that have always been near to her heart—immigration policy, the right to a union and human rights—and I could not be prouder of my sister.”

DeJesus will begin her term immediately.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.