The National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy group in the United States, has announced that it is changing its name to UnidosUS.
Announced during the organization's annual conference earlier this week, the name change is part of a national rebranding effort as the organization prepares to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. According to NBC News, the organization has been working for about three years on a rebranding campaign in anticipation of the anniversary, and the change reflects its commitment to connecting with and representing younger generations of Hispanics. Over the last few years, community focus groups, national surveys, and meetings with individuals had all suggested that the National Council of La Raza moniker, which dates to the organization's establishment in 1968, was outdated and something of a turnoff for younger Hispanics.
Although the organization, concerned that people would misconstrue its agenda, has for years pushed back against the literal translation of "la raza" as "the race" — instead of "the community," as its founders intended — UnidosUs president and CEO Janet Murguía told NBC that such concerns did not weigh significantly on the organization's decision to change its name. More important, said Murguía, is the fact that the Hispanic population in the U.S. itself is changing, and the organization's name change is meant to signal the growing importance of Hispanics in the life of the country. "Not only are six in ten Hispanics millennials or younger, we as a community marry outside of our community more than any other ethnic or racial population," said Murguía. "We are changing."