History and milestones

Origins of Los Cien

Los Cien was launched as a non-profit organization in 2009. Since our humble roots began and a group of community leaders came together in the backroom of Mary’s Pizza Shack, it has always been clear that we had a vision for uniting our community. At that moment, before it became a non-profit, Los Cien was loosely known as “Latino Leaders.”

Even then, many of our original founders and leaders who began meeting with Herman J. Hernández in those days felt a deep need for representation and empowering Latinx voices. There was a shared recognition of the necessity to unite and mobilize in response to political matters that significantly affected people of color. These individuals often felt overlooked. The need to be visible manifested itself into a popular phrase by our founder, Dr. Herman J., “It is better to be at the table than on the menu.”

Amongst the founding members of Los Cien were Lisa Carreño, Sylvia Lemus, Todd Mendoza, Jenny Chamberlain, Lannie Medina, and Oscar Chavez.

History of Los Cien

Los Cien’s roots and legacy are part of an important historical context of Latinos rising to power. The name Los Cien comes from founding member Lisa Carreño’s native Cuban community in West Tampa, Florida.

Ms. Carreño grew up in a subdivision over 100 years old, bearing the name Los Cien, originally founded by cigar factory workers who are well known for organizing strategies and building community. Cigar factory workers in the US have gifted us with a legacy of organizing and of lucha against oppressive, racist laws that segregated Latinos.

In the latter half of the 1900s, as they began to immigrate in larger numbers to the US, Cuban cigar factory workers brought with them experience in union organizing and a highly intellectual community that was well-versed in the literature of the day. Often, one could find a reader or Lecter of the factory who would read to immigrants who were not literate. Therefore, they could be familiar with the popular novels of the day, the press, and what was being written about the working class.

Los Cien Now

Over the last 15 years, Los Cien has transformed into an equity-focused, membership-driven organization, uniting many different types of people, community leaders, organizations, businesses, and government agencies, leading to the most diverse community events in Sonoma County and the North Bay.

Los Cien is dedicated to building belonging through collaborative monthly convenings centered around equity and inclusion and addressing the detrimental effects of current systems on marginalized communities in Sonoma County.

Los Cien prides itself on its signature events that celebrate the rich and diverse Latine culture in Sonoma County and beyond. They have hosted over 160 convenings throughout Sonoma County, and their membership has reached 350 paid members who help fuel their work.

Los Cien continues to live by the motto coined by its founder, Dr. Herman J. Hernandez, “It is better to be at the table than on the menu.”

Los Cien Milestones

MEMBERS and growing
SUBSCRIBERS and growing