Hispanic Heritage: The stories of local Latino leaders

Arizona Barrio Stories highlights the generations of Mexican American families who grew up in our neighborhoods.  Bivens tells the stories of local Latino leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and professionals so community members can appreciate where they came from and be inspired.

Gil is being honored by Cox for Arizona Barrio Stories. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cox is spotlighting inspirational leaders in Phoenix and Tucson who have made cultural, educational and social contributions.

This marks the 15th year that Cox has highlighted the good works of leaders such as Congressman Ruben Gallego, COO of Radio Campesina, Bill Barquin, ASU Research Scientist Laura Gonzalez-Malerva and Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center Medical Director Javier Cardenas.

Some barrios no longer exist, which is a shame, Bivens says.

There’s nothing worse than to see your community vanish, literally knocked down and having those memories growing up and that inspired me,” Bivens said. “To somehow devote part of my life to start restoring history and telling the story of the vanishing barrios that we all grew up in.”

Bivens says that even though he and many of the people living in barrios were poor and even below poverty line, it was still fun for them even with no technology.

Bivens wants to showcase the 90% good of the barrios.

“The barrios produce some great fruits and those are unsung heros that come out of barrios,” Bivens said. “We are sometimes looked down at but we all have success stories.”

Bivens wanted to look for those great people and stories to find the foundations of their life. He said the only thing they now have is the memories that they cherish.

“This has been a big process for us, when we started planning five years ago, we had to surround our team with great storytellers,” Bivens said.

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Gil Bivens, Arizona Barrio Stories

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