Yesterday, National Skills Coalition was heartbroken to learn of the passing of Alma Salazar. Alma was so many things to NSC and to the people she championed. She was a tireless advocate for young people and working adults in southern California and nationally. She was a long-time NSC Board member, currently serving as its Vice-Chair. She was a key bridge builder with the business and Chamber of Commerce communities. She was an unwavering voice for racial equity, whether in conversation with local community advocates or local business leaders. She was our friend. She was an inspiration, a strong and calm voice for what is right.
It’s that strong, calm and reassuring voice for which I’ll most remember Alma. She was clear about what she believed in, and at the same time committed to working with folks from a range of perspectives to find some common cause in that fight. I was so proud to have the chance this past February to present to Alma, on behalf of our entire Coalition, our annual Skills Champion award. The reaction from folks there in the ballroom in Washington DC, and from California and around the country on social media, confirmed that this was an honor well deserved. You can watch it all here.
Our hearts go out to Alma’s family, her six-year-old son, Noah, and partner, Gene. Our condolences to her colleagues at Unite-LA, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Skills for CA Network, the REAL Coalition, the California Economic Summit, and the many other efforts in which she was a respected leader. We will all miss her. And when we eventually dig in again on the fight to help those marginalized by this pandemic and longer-standing structural injustices, may we do so with the memory of Alma’s calm resolve and never-tiring advocacy in our hearts.
In accordance with her family’s wishes, UNITE-LA is establishing a scholarship in Alma’s name. If you would like to honor Alma, please reach out to Natalie Pitman, UNITE-LA’s Director of Operations and Strategy, or you can send a contribution directly with a note indicating, Alma Salazar Scholarship, to UNITE-LA (1055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1750, Los Angeles, CA 90017).