Fighting discrimination: Our complaint against the Hispanic Liaison

By Gilbert Pagan

Siler City, NC – Our organization filed a complaint of discrimination against El Vinculo Hispano on Sept 5, 2023 for denying us entry into the Hispanic Fiesta event to be held on Sept 16, 2023 in Siler City. We participated in Sept 2022. El Vinculo Hispano does not agree with our family values beliefs or our opinions on social cultural issues. Although we only share our services at these events. They have told us not to walk the event or hand out info, or place info on another vendors table. This is a clear violation of the 1st amendment. This is a public and free event on public property.

photo by Freepik

Our four services are

  • School Choice for families K-12
  • Small Business Creation, growth and financing
  • Health & Wellness
  • Civics and Public Policy

I have posted the letter we sent to the commissioners and the mayor of Siler City below.
The link to the video of my speech is below.

Dear Mayor Price & Board of Commissioners:

Hispanos Del Sur is filing a formal complaint of discrimination against El Vinculo Hispano (Hispanic Liaison) the organizer of the Hispanic Heritage Fiesta in Siler City. Hispanos De Sur has been banned from participating in the event, even though our organization successfully participated in 2022.

This event will take place on Sept 16, 2023.

Hispanos Del Sur is a statewide community organization serving the Hispanic community and families in four areas:

1. Education K-12
2. Health
3. Small Business Creation
4. Civics & Public policy

We asked El Vinculo Hispano for specific details as to why we were denied in 2023. Their response:
Quote : “The committee that reviews Fiesta applications determined that the work/mission of your organization is not a good fit for our events”, signed Ilana Dubester, Executive Director, El Vínculo Hispano/The Hispanic Liaison.”

This event will have vendors/booth sponsors from various community service organizations sharing programs that benefit the Hispanic community. Additionally, vendors will be selling merchandise, food and political parties will have booths.

According to El Vinculo Hispano’s website, their mission is to “foster intercultural understanding to empower Latinxs to overcome the challenges they face and make their voices heard in the community.” Hispanos Del Sur gives free services to the Hispanic community and advocates for its success. There is no reason we should be discontinued from participating in this event.

Our organization is a family values centered group, and while some of our values may conflict with the event’s sponsor, so does the platform of the Republican Party which will be participating. We are confused why a non-partisan community service Hispanic organization has been banned, while a partisan largely non-Hispanic organization can participate. The City of Siler, who has given this organization a permit for this event should revoke its permit due to discriminatory practices against a Hispanic organization. By allowing the Fiesta to continue being run by this organization the City of Siler and its elected officials are condoning discrimination and are complicit.

Additionally, we were told by El Vinculo Hispano the following: Quote “Also, please be advised that we do not allow unregistered organizations to distribute information at Fiesta, either by passing leaflets in the crowd or by posting information in the booth of another registered vendor.”

As city officials, you should know this is a violation of free speech among other violations. This is a public event. No ticket sales for attendees. Anyone can attend. Their attempt to stifle free speech by prohibiting anyone (us) from passing out information is a violation of free speech. And by not allowing us to place info in another vendor’s booth is discriminatory.

Will El Vinculo Hispano visit each booth to verify that the only information presented at the booth is from registered vendors? So no referral programs to other services, city and private or affiliated partners will be placed in booths?

This is a blatant attempt to prevent our organization that serves the Hispanic community with needed services from participating because we don’t support all their values. It’s discriminatory.  Please advise us as to your course of action.


Gilbert Pagan
Hispanos Del Sur
4904 Waters Edge Drive, STE 152
Raleigh, NC 27606
919-851-0785 (o)
919-931-4597 (c)

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