.In an echo of the immigrant crisis today, WES friend, Lilo Gonzalez fled from El Salvador with his family in the 1980s. This was the period of the first sanctuary movement. Lilo and his family fled the civil war and death squads for an uncertain future in the U.S. Lilo never forgot his roots.
Now a successful musician in the D.C. area, Gonzalez and his band will perform at First Church at 7:00 pm on Friday, May 17. The Music Without Borders/Musica Sin Fronteras concert is free with all donations supporting Sanctuary DMV and the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition as they fight for social justice and legal representation for immigrants seeking a better life in the United States. As a guitarist and singer-songwriter, Gonzalez will share his uplifting Latino music along with stories about his life as a former undocumented immigrant who crossed into the United States with his wife, mother, and 2-year-old son in 1981. After moving to the D.C. area, they lived in a one-bedroom mobile home occupied by 17 El Salvadoran refugees. A former elementary school teacher in El Salvador, Gonzalez parked cars and washed dishes to survive while developing his music career. He now teaches music to children across the D.C. area and has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. He became a U.S. citizen after President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants in 1986. First Church’s Sanctuary Working Group organized the concert to share the vibrant music of Latin America and raise needed funds for local organizations that are opposing Trump’s inhumane and xenophobic immigration policies. In a unanimous motion in 2016, First Church became a “sanctuary congregation” that “will work with partner organizations to resist any harmful or unjust policy proposals that undermine due process, lead to discrimination based on identity, or otherwise violate constitutionally protected rights” of immigrants and refugees.
Please visit eventbrite.com (search term Lilo Gonzalez) where you can donate to support the concert even if you can’t attend. Donations also will be accepted at the door. We hope to see you on May 17 for a fun evening of music and activism!
Friday, May 17
First Congregational United Church of Christ
945 G Street NW Washington, DC 20001