PRESS RELEASE: Progressive Organizations in Rio Grande Valley host ‘COVID-19 Back to School Vigil and Summit,’ Oct 30th, Basilica of San Juan

PRESS RELEASE — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Alliance of Progressive Organizations in Rio Grande Valley host ‘COVID-19 Back to School Vigil and Summit,’ 5:30 PM, Oct 30th, Basilica of San Juan del Valle

Edinburg, TX October 25, 2020 – Together with a coalition of workers in education and healthcare, the Democratic Socialists of America Rio Grande Valley (DSARGV), the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo branch of the American Federation of Teachers (PSJA AFT), the Texas AFT Associate Membership Program (AMP), and the Movement for People’s Democracy – Texas Branch, are organizing a ‘COVID-19 Back to School Vigil and Summit.’

This alliance of progressive organizations in Rio Grande Valley is hosting this summit and vigil because, while we understand and fully support the value that in-person instruction provides to students, families, and communities, we recognize that solutions should not require sacrificing the health, safety, and lives neither of students nor workers in the RGV.

The decision to return to in-person instruction in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) must be driven by principle of least harm, guided by reliable public health data, and must prioritize the health and needs of students, families, staff, and the community.

The event will take place at 6:30 PM on October 30, at the Basilica of San Juan del Valle. Events will include a commemorative mass (starting 5:30 PM), keynote addresses by local experts and political leaders (starting 6:30 PM), with an altar for offerings to loved ones lost to COVID-19 running throughout.

Keynote speakers will include: Dr. Deepu George, Associate Professor of Family & Community Medicine and the Director of Integrated Behavioral Health for UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine; Dr. Daniela Garza, DMSc, PA-C, Physician Assistant and lead provider in COVID testing for UT Health RGV; Sergio Muñoz Jr, State Rep. Dist. 36 and Attorney; Michelle Serrano, RGV Equal Voice Network Communications Strategist; Ramona Casas, Community Organizer with ARISE; Zonia Castillo, RN, PSJA AFT Vice-President; and Bishop Daniel E. Flores.

The Basilica is operating to CDC guidelines. Please wear a mask, and respect social distancing.

Please share to your networks.

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