Latina Sorority Returns to Capitol Hill for its 5th Annual Lambda Hill Days

For Immediate Release:
Monday, May 10, 2021

Washington, D.C. – On May 3-7, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. hosted its fifth annual Lambda Hill Days. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was hosted virtually with our members and their Congressional Leaders. This year, the 19-member cohort selected the topics they would focus on, which included immigration, public health and education reform. The National Political Education Initiative Committee (PEI) elected to expand the advocacy initiative from 3 days to a whole week to provide more flexibility due to the virtual setting. Traditionally, Lambda Hill Days is in person and we did not want to lose out on the momentum and impact this national event brings so we decided to allow our sorority members to partake once more in this educational experience with a few modifications. 

Prior to the meetings, cohort members were trained via weekly webinars where they learned how to effectively meet with our House Representatives and Senators. Lambda Theta Alpha Alumnae Isabel Sanchez and Lanette Garcia, Capitol Hill Staffers, provided their shared political experiences in best practices in lobbying and meeting with Congressional Leaders. Additionally, Poder Latinx, a non-partisan organization whose “mission is to build a political wave where the Latinx community plays a key role in the transformation of our country, where immigrants, Latinx and other people of color are decision-makers of our political process” and which was co-founded by sorority alumna Yadira Sanchez; provided a virtual webinar with the cohort including hosting mock congressional meetings with participants. 

While meeting with Members of Congress, the 19 participants shared personal experiences and stories from their respective communities in hopes of igniting change and making immigration reform a priority for the 116th Congress.                            

Sister Maria Elena Ornelas (Gamma Beta Chapter, Spring 2005) expressed her thoughts regarding the preparedness in going into the meetings with her Congress Members: “I’ve only recently started engaging with political activism and this program has provided me with more preparation than any other program I’ve attended”, she continued, “I believe this year’s program was just as effective in having our opinions heard and allowed us to continue upholding LTA’s foundation of activism and civic engagement.”

The sorority’s deep roots in political activism stems from its inception in 1975. Founded amidst political tension of the 1970s, the sorority’s Founding Mothers served as a voice for all students and members of their community. To present day, members continue to raise awareness on social issues and advocate for marginalized groups. 

Sister Jennifer Tello (Alpha Delta Alumnae Chapter, Spring 2016) shared her experience by stating, “I have gained an improvement of confidence and expanded my knowledge on various legislation. People typically feel intimidated speaking to politicians or their staff but they are here to serve you so make your voice heard!”

In an effort to invoke action and strengthen its voice, Lambda Theta Alpha created the PEI Committee in 2012. The inaugural Lambda Hill Days program was held in 2017 along with Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. The sorority looks forward to continuing the growth and improving the program for the future. 

“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard.” – Malala Yousafzai

For photos of the virtual week-long program, check out the hashtag #LambdaHillDays on Instagram. The following cohort members attended meetings with members of Congress:

Isabel CruzSpring 2018Gamma Eta Chapter
Shalymar CruzSpring 2010Kappa Chapter
Jazmin EdwardsFall 2018Chi Chapter
Maria Elena OrnelasSpring 2005Gamma Beta Chapter
Karen GonzalezSpring 2017Zeta Chi Chapter
Brenda GutierrezFall 2013Epsilon Alpha Chapter
Maria MedinaSpring 2019Delta Omicron Chapter
Jazmin MejiaSpring 2020Delta Beta Chapter
Nicole MejiaSpring 2019Delta Pi Chapter
Emma MurielFall 2013Epsilon Kappa Chapter
Mayra Parrilla GuerreroSpring 2016Zeta Theta Chapter
Lisandra SanchezFall 2001Beta Epsilon Chapter
Valerie SavalaSpring 2020Eta Gamma Chapter
Alma SidaSpring 2018Gamma Mu Chapter
Sheila SuarezSpring 2017Beta Kappa Chapter
Jennifer TelloSpring 2016Alpha Delta Alumnae Chapter
Melanie ValentinFall 2020Epsilon Gamma Chapter
Estrella Vazquez-HernandezFall 2020Beta Phi Chapter
Andrea N. ZorbasSpring 2004Gamma Mu Chapter

Nathalie Canadas, Vice President of External Affairs
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.


About Lambda Theta Alpha
Lambda Theta Alpha was founded at Kean University in 1975 as the first Latina sorority in the nation. The Sorority strives to develop strong leaders that produce and engage in political, social and cultural activities. Based on the principles of Unity, Love and Respect, the Sorority was established for the unification of women through charitable and educational programs. Although founded as Latin by tradition, the Sorority is inclusive to all women regardless of race, color, creed, sexual identity, gender expression, or religious beliefs.