Friday, October 5, 2012

Guzior, One Of Milwaukee's Hispanic Icon Leaders Passed Away

Loyd J. Guzior

Guzior was well known for his ability to bring people to the table and negotiate results that provided educational and economic striving gains for the Milwaukee and Wisconsin Latino community.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 5, 2012

Milwaukee, WI - On Friday, Loyd J. Guzior, 63, was remembered for his major contributions to the Hispanic community in Wisconsin. Guzior was originally from New York and of Puerto Rican descent who moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1968 to study Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and later received a degree in Economics. It was there where Guzior met Ricardo Enriquez, a Mexican-American student activist from Texas who volunteered to create a committee for César E. Chávez and the United Farm Worker's (UFW) movement advocating farm workers rights and the national boycott of grapes in Wisconsin. Guzior also became a volunteer for the UFW.
When Enriquez established a local UFW committee in Milwaukee, Guzior came to Milwaukee in the early 1970's and became involved in the Hispanic community when tensions were erupting due to Latinos moving to Milwaukee's predominantly southside White community. The southside in the early 1970's was composed of a majority of German and Polish communities.
Guzior joined other iconic Hispanic leaders and community organizers like, Jesus Salas, Ernesto Chacon, Lalo Valdez, Dante Navarro, Salvador Sanchez and Tony Baez, including a group of women known as las Adelitas, Marla O. Anderson, Maria Ortega, Clementina Castro and Mercedes Rivas who were just initiating a local civil rights movement to bring down the barriers of discrimination, exclusion and inequalities in fair housing, Welfare rights, higher education and the lack of employment opportunities for Latinos in local, county and state governments.
Guzior soon became one of the key and successful negiotators for the Latino Civil Rights movement in Milwaukee between the Hispanic community and officials representing local, county and state governments. He helped bring about change in the 1970's that led to higher educational opportunities, migrant rights and job opportunities in local governments for Hispanics statewide.
Guzior was instrumental in helping to create many social programs that many current community organizations still use today.
Guzior became the first Director of the United Community Spot and was instrumental in a group negiotiating a deal to move the center to the 900 block of W. Washington St. that resulted in the creation of the multimillion dollar nonprofit organization, the United Community Center, according to Dr. Luis "Tony" Baez, Executive Director of the Council for the Spanish Speaking (Spanish Center).
Guzior passed away on October 1st, and services were held on Friday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on S. 4th St. He is survived by his wife Maria, including daughters and sons and other relatives.

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