The Milwaukee Hispanic and non-Hispanic community joined the United Migrant Opportunity Services in celebrating their 50th Anniversary.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
July 30, 2015
Milwaukee, WI – On July 25, the United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), a non-profit organization celebrated their 50th Anniversary in providing services to the migrant farmer worker community in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas. Lupe Martínez, the UMOS President and CEO was recognized for his 46 years of work dedication with the organization that employs hundreds of people and provides services to migrant workers in the state including other social programs, training, child development and a workforce development center that serves approximately 3K W-2’s job seekers as well as the Latina Resource Center for domestic abuse victims.
UMOS also holds their annual awards banquet to honor community recipients for Man of the Year, Woman of the Year, Family of the Year and Youth of the Year awards.
The main guest featured speaker at the UMOS 50th Anniversary was Arturo S. Rodríguez, President of the United Farm Workers organization from California. The sold put event took place at the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel in Milwaukee.
According to the UMOS website, UMOS, is a “non-profit advocacy organization, provides programs and services which improve the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities of under-served populations. UMOS began as a single-focused, single state, migrant and seasonal farm worker serving agency only. Today, UMOS offers diverse programs and services to diverse populations with a diverse staff. Currently, UMOS operates 40+ programs with more than $25 million grant and performance-based contracts from federal, state, and local funding sources.
Programs and services provided by UMOS are divided into three major categories: workforce development, child development, and social services, which include farm labor housing, Teen Tobacco Prevention, HIV prevention services, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking supportive services, home energy assistance, food pantry and after school programs . In addition to these programs, UMOS sponsors and organizes a number of cultural and community events in Wisconsin.The UMOS corporate offices are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. UMOS programs operate throughout the state of Wisconsin, as well as in Minnesota Missouri, and Texas, along with a housing consortium in an eight-state area.”
History: Salvador Sánchez is speaking at the first United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) annual meeting in the mid 1960’s. At far left, Marla O. Anderson, a community activist is present at the meeting as well as other members of the Latino community. Photo courtesy of Jesús Salas who was a former Executive Director of UMOS (1969). Salas became the first Latino to become the director of UMOS and Sánchez layer became the second. Sánchez was also a former Executive Director of UMOS (1970).
Anderson, Sánchez and Salas later became instrumental in the takeover of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor’s Office on August 27, 1970 to seek higher education for Latinos. At the time, there were only 14 Latino students enrolled at UWM compared to 25,000 White students. A discrimination policy was the norm at UWM that kept Latinos from enrolling. After the protest at UWM, Latinos were allowed to enroll, which opened the door to higher education for Latinos, Blacks, Asians and Native Americans.
Current UMOS Board of Directors:
Juan Jose Lopez
Guadalupe “Wally” Rendon
Peggy Romo West
UMOS History (PDF) link: http://goo.gl/gpojIW
Stage video: UMOS 50th Anniversary celebration with family, sponsors and friends https://youtu.be/dCA2PEnd4v0