I am delighted to have this chance to greet the first-ever Mexican American Leadership Initiative Conference.
Last spring, I had a conversation with Mexican Foreign Minister Espinosa. We talked about the powerful sense of connection that so many ethnic communities feel with the countries of their parents and grandparents. We talked about the close ties—of culture, business, friendship, and family—that already bind our people together. And we decided we had to find new ways to harness the talents of the Mexican-American community to confront our common challenges.
We supported the efforts of Mexican-American leaders as they consulted with communities across the country about how we can help deepen their engagement with Mexico.
The result is the very promising initiative you are launching today: MALI.
Your efforts could not come at a better time. We see the violence unfolding south of our border as a shared responsibility for America and Mexico. We welcome MALI’s commitment to strengthen civil society and institutions and create opportunities for young people in the places hit hardest.
Many of us have worked together for years to empower Latinos in this country. All over Mexico, there are people committed to serving their communities. MALI is a chance to reconnect their cause with our own—and deepen a crucial relationship.
This is an exciting day. Thanks for letting me share it with you.