NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Five members of Stephen F. Austin State University’s League of United Latin American Citizens, often shortened to LULAC, will attend the national 2023 Emerge Latino Conference March 7-10 in Washington, D.C. 

The purpose of LULAC — an endorsed student organization of SFA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs — is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States. Locally, it helps create a community on the SFA campus that allows opportunities to learn, grow and advocate for minority groups on campus.

“LULAC is a fantastic organization that has had a positive impact not only on the SFA campus but also locally and nationally in its five years,” said Dr. Veronica Beavers, OMA director and deputy chief diversity officer. “I am so proud of their efforts and dedication. They are outstanding ambassadors of SFA.”

According to Launa Castañeda, SFA’s LULAC president and junior political science major from Garland, the conference is tailored toward college students and young professionals, with workshops and trainings for various topics affecting the Hispanic and Latin communities. The conference will also host the LULAC Legislative Awards Gala and Awards Ceremony. 

Joining Castañeda at the conference are Josefina Veliz, SFA LULAC vice president; Jocelyn Morales, sergeant-at-arms; Guadalupe Gomez, recruitment and new member education chair; and Angeles Govea, community service chair.

“Not only will we be working with our national organization, but attending this conference will allow us to potentially meet with members of the U.S. Congress,” Castañeda said. “It also will allow us to learn how to use the information and tools we have gained to help make an impact on our campus by advocating for our community and other underrepresented organizations.”

Three of the members — Castañeda, Morales and Gomez — received partial scholarships from the conference to aid the cost of their attendance. The recipients were announced by email Feb. 14 following a lengthy application process.  

The initial goal for the organization was to attend the conference in 2024. However, through fundraising initiatives, along with the aid of the scholarships, they were able to attend a year earlier, Castañeda said. 

“It means the world to me that we were awarded the scholarship,” Castañeda said. “For me personally, it meant a lot because it felt as though all the work I have been contributing to this organization has paid off.”

SFA’s LULAC council celebrated five years in January. Members of LULAC are still raising money for the conference, as well as communicating with the district for other scholarship opportunities.  

For more information about SFA’s LULAC council or other OMA-endorsed organizations, visit