Making Waves celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. This year 94.7 The Wave recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of members of the Hispanic community who have made a difference through their career accomplishments, philanthropic projects, corporate achievements, and/or community outreach. This month-long celebration includes vignettes that will be broadcasted on-air, online, and on social! Today we recognize Richard L. Zaldivar.
Based in Los Angeles, California, he is often sought for his expertise, leadership, and strategic thinking in the topics of community engagement, empowerment, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health, LGBTQ issues, faith and community politics.
Richard is the founder and the executive director of The Wall Las Memorias, a groundbreaking community health and wellness organization dedicated to serving Latinx and underserved populations through advocacy, education and building the next generation of leadership.
With his vision and tenacity, The Wall Las Memorias built the first publicly funded AIDS monument in the nation. The monument, located in Lincoln Park in Northeast Los Angeles, was dedicated before 1,500 people in 2004.
The monument has undergone a $850,000 renovation and will be re-dedicated on World AIDS Day on December 1st, 2021.
The Wall Las Memorias provides HIV, HEP C testing, mental health and substance abuse prevention, COVID 19 education-prevention, leadership development and advocacy.
Richard Zaldivar has been honored numerous times. He was the only person to have been honored by both the Latino and the LGBT caucus of the California State Legislature. He was featured in the L.A. Weekly, highlighted as National Hero on the American Latino Television on ABC, Heroes at Home on KTLA and Despierta America on Univision. He was awarded the “Zaragosa Award” by the Mexicanos En El Exterior de Puebla, Mexico.
He was also honored with a special recognition at the White House by President Barack Obama. Richard was featured on VICE VERSA’S documentary “Neglected Pandemic, 40 Years of HIV and AIDS”.
Richard’s life and work have been profiled in culturally influential and historical publications and books, including “The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World,“ and “Community-Based Participatory Research: Testimonios from Chicano/a Studies, and Latinos and Latinas at Risk: Issues in Education, Health. Community.”