Alice graduate on the front-lines for social change in Washington D.C.

Robin Bradshaw
Jason Resendez with Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta

Alice High School Graduate, Jason Resendez is making strides as the voice and advocate for the Latino population in Washington D.C.

Resendez, graduated from Alice High School in 2004, moved to Washington D.C. in 2014 to pursue a undergraduate degree at Georgetown University. He has professionally advanced as the leading voice and advocate for the aging and minority Latino population in the nation.

His work has lead researchers, policymakers, industry leaders, and community-based organizations to develop research and policy solutions to address disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and social inequalities impacting the Latino community.

His achievements include being the Founding Executive Director for the Latinos Against Alzheimer's Coalition, convened by USAgainstAlizheimers. His leadership has supported senior roles with two of the nation’s largest and Latino-serving organizations UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza) and LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc.

He is currently addressing Alzheimer’s disease in the South Texas Hispanic communities.

“The impact of Alzheimer’s on South Texas deserves national attention and action,” said Resendez. “Currently, there is no federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center in South Texas, which limits research opportunities for high-risk communities across the region. In fact, as of 2016, 17 percent of Latino Medicare beneficiaries in Jim Wells County were diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related dementia, compared to 12 percent for Latinos nationally.”

According to data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 20 percent of Jim Wells County was uninsured in 2017, compared to 10 percent nationally. The number of children living in poverty is 33 percent in Jim Wells County compared to 18 percent nationally.

“I am working with partners like the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s at UT Health San Antonio to raise awareness and create a change in disease and health disparities,” said Resendez.

Resendez, recently has been on the forefront addressing the disparities in health care in minorities facing COVID-19.

Resendez, was asked how he felt about the current societal earthquake in the United States and the intense riots in his current residence of Washington D.C., he replied, "Last week demonstrated that inaction against racism has resulted in deeply rooted inequities across society that are now boiling over. You can see the result of this inaction in the child poverty rate in Alice, you can see it in the number of Latinos living with Alzheimer's across South Texas, and tragically, you can see it in the murder rate of black and brown people across America.“

Resendez said that growing up in Alice has given an insight to inequities sparking a a rugged determination to fight for social justice.

“I hope the "buena gente" of Alice make these connections and do their part to fight against racism even when they are not personally affected. That means speaking up and that means voting," he said.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Jason Resendez