Scholar appointed to Latino Affairs commission
As a millennial, first-generation college graduate, and undocumented Pennsylvanian, I hope to bring a unique perspective and skill set to the work of the Commission as we advise the Governor on policies that empower and uplift our Latino Community in Pennsylvania.
Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez
A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been appointed as a Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs.
Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez , who did his MPhil at the University of Cambridge in Latin American Studies, will represent Lancaster County on the Commission.
The Commission describes him in the following words: "Originally from the Dominican Republic and raised in the United States, Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez is a passionate scholar, speaker and advocate. As a DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] beneficiary, his commitment to immigrant rights is rooted in his experience living undocumented."
Carlos said: “I am honoured to be appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to represent Lancaster County on the Commission. As a millennial, first-generation college graduate, and undocumented Pennsylvanian, I hope to bring a unique perspective and skill set to the work of the Commission as we advise the Governor on policies that empower and uplift our Latino Community in Pennsylvania.”
The Commission has been in place since 1971 and is dedicated to advising the governor on policies and legislation that impact the one million Latino residents in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It aims "to contribute to the governor’s goal of government that works, schools that teach, and jobs that pay". It is composed of 20 volunteer members appointed by the governor for a term of two years.
Carlos' family moved to Lancaster Country shortly after immigrating to the US from the Dominican Republic. He first became involved with community politics when he attended community college there. He reactivated the Latino student organisation and interned at the Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino affairs, his first contact with the body. At Amherst College, where he completed his undergraduate studies, Carlos chaired La Causa, a student-led organisation focused on promoting Latino culture and raising awareness about the issues facing Latino students on campus. He also successfully collaborated with students, faculty and administrators to establish a Latinx and Latin American Studies major and sat on the Centre for Community Engagement Board.
After graduating, Carlos become involved in campaigns to engage voters in immigrant and low-income communities in Chicago, working on the Raise the Wage campaign in Illinois that targeted low-income workers. He also won a Lantos Legislative Fellowship to the US Congress and worked as a legislative assistant in the Office of Congressman Michael Honda in Washington, DC for six months before he came to the University of Cambridge. His role focused on legislation around immigration and Latin American issues. In addition he has worked with newly arrived Cuban refugees to help them become economically self-sufficient as an Employment Specialist at Church World Service, one of the largest refugee resettlement organisations in the US.
After Cambridge Carlos won a Schwarzman Scholarship for graduate studies in China and was appointed a Youth Panelist to the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He currently works as a Statewide Capacity Building Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition.