After the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person ceremonies of the Latino Spirit Awards for 2 years, a various group of Latino leaders from all through California and throughout numerous professions had been acknowledged Monday on the state Capitol.
The Latino Spirit Awards had been established in 2002 by the California Latino Legislative Caucus to spotlight constructive function fashions inside the various Latino neighborhood.
“As Latino Caucus chair, I’m so honored to acknowledge these atypical women and men who do extraordinary issues for the Latino Neighborhood,” mentioned state Sen. María Elena Durazo.
Yearly, the caucus honors Latinos and Latinas in a wide range of classes that vary from athletics-sports to public service and human rights.
This 12 months, 9 honorees and one particular visitor had been acknowledged for the twentieth annual Latino Spirit Awards on every flooring of the legislature throughout shows by Durazo within the state Senate and vice-chair Robert Rivas within the Meeting.
“They symbolize innovation and a spirit of battle in labor, enterprise, philanthropy and the humanities,” Durazo mentioned. “We’re proud and grateful.”
Most of the honorees are pioneers of their respective fields and have overcome large obstacles, rising to turn into function fashions and neighborhood leaders.
“At this time, we honor just some of the California Latinos who make a constructive distinction within the lives of Californians and all People,” mentioned Rivas. “I’m pleased with the contributions of this 12 months’s Latino Spirit Awards honorees who aren’t solely champions for fairness and illustration however are paving the way in which for future generations.”
The 2022 Latino Spirit Award Honorees
Jenna C. Contreras/Achievement in Journalism & Media
Jenna C. Contreras is an award-winning filmmaker who believes storytelling is extra than simply capturing an viewers and striving to create participating, significant content material. Utilizing the platform of ESPN and its a number of retailers, she has illuminated essential points comparable to social justice, equality and suicide prevention.
As a director and producer, Contreras is a one-time Emmy award-winner, five-time Emmy nominee, and a two-time New York Festivals Silver Medal recipient.
Alfred Díaz-Infante/In Memoriam
Because the son of immigrant farmworkers, Alfred Díaz-Infante was President and CEO of the Neighborhood Housing Enchancment Techniques and Planning Affiliation (CHISPA), Monterey County’s largest non-profit housing group.
Underneath Díaz-Infante’s 23 years of management, CHISPA constructed and renovated 2,447 single-family properties and flats for low- and moderate-income individuals in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. He additionally guided efforts to bolster entry to training to residents by establishing three school scholarships which have awarded over $79,000 to seventy-two college students.
Díaz-Infante grew to become one of many area’s most acknowledged leaders, and advocates for farmworkers and low-income households, serving on quite a few boards throughout the area. He’s survived by Elvira, his spouse of 31 years; their three youngsters, Karina, Alexis, and Marcos; and grandson, Leo.
Sonia Manzano/Achievement in Arts & Leisure
Sonia Manzano is a first-generation mainland Puerto Rican, raised within the South Bronx. Within the early Seventies a scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon College the place she participated within the creation of the Broadway present hit ‘Godspell.’
Manzano was provided the chance to create the function of María on Sesame Road, making an affect on the lives of thousands and thousands of oldsters and youngsters.
In 2016 she obtained a lifetime achievement award for her work on ‘Sesame Road’ on the forty third annual Daytime Emmys. Manzano has additionally obtained 15 Emmys for employees writing ‘Sesame Road,’ the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award, and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Training.
Manzano, an award-winning youngsters’s ebook writer, has revealed ‘No Canines Allowed,’ ‘A Field Filled with Kittens’ and ‘Miracle on 133rd Road’ with Simon and Schuster and ‘The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano’ and ‘Changing into Maria: Love and Chaos within the South Bronx’ with Scholastic.
‘A World Collectively,’ Manzano’s first ebook for Nationwide Geographic was launched September 2020. Her present novel, ‘Coming Up Cuban,’ will publish in summer season 2022. She created an animated sequence known as ‘Alma’s Means,’ developed by Fred Rogers Productions. It premiered on PBS in October 2021.
Ron Herrera/Achievement in Public Service
Ron Herrera has been a union member for over 41 years and presently serves as president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the second-largest labor council in the US composed of over 300 associates, representing over 800,000 staff in Los Ángeles County from each business and commerce.
He began his union profession in 1975 as a bundle automobile driver with the United Parcel Service, the place he represented his fellow members as a store steward. In 2000, Herrera was employed as a Teamsters Native 396 enterprise consultant, and in 2001 he grew to become the president of Native 396. In 2003, he was elected to the principal officer place as secretary treasurer of Native 396, a place he presently holds at this time.
Dr. Alfonso R. Padrón/Achievement in Neighborhood Empowerment
Raised in Parlier, Dr. Alfonso Padrón grew up with a eager consciousness of Latinos being ignored within the training system, one thing he witnessed it in his personal neighborhood.
Padrón has greater than 20 years of expertise working within the counseling discipline and 10 years as a mother or father and advocate for particular want college students. He has devoted his life to serving others as a substance abuse counselor, restorative justice director, and now a Particular Training Advocate.
He started Mother or father Advocacy for Particular Training (PASE) in 2013 with the intention of serving to Latino dad and mom of kids with disabilities navigate the varsity system. He has been on the forefront of representing particular want college students and their dad and mom in California as they struggled by way of the maze of instructional hearings and authorized proceedings.
Within the final ten years, Padrón has helped tons of of households within the Central Valley and throughout the state, by empowering them, informing them of their rights by way of the particular training system, and supporting these dad and mom in exercising these rights.
He has managed to amass hundreds of providers for these college students together with tutoring, bodily remedy, nonpublic faculties, specialised packages, psychological well being assist, and a lot extra.
George Pla/Achievement in Enterprise & Philanthropy
George L. Pla is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and writer whose work spans enterprise and civic actions centered on enhancing and empowering communities all through California. He’s the founder and CEO of Cordoba Company, a full-service engineering agency that makes a speciality of the supply of infrastructure initiatives within the transportation, training, water, and power sectors.
His enterprise background additionally encompasses the fields of finance and banking together with the founding, improvement, and sale of two banks. Pla’s civic engagements embody management in tutorial, athletic and cultural establishments, and enterprise organizations which have far-reaching impacts locally.
He’s a governor’s appointee presently serving because the president of the Los Ángeles Memorial Coliseum Fee. His assist for tutorial establishments consists of serving as a member of the Program Advisory Committee for Stanford College’s Building Institute and as a Presidential Affiliate on the College of Southern California.
Pla is the co-author of the formative ebook on Latino politics, ‘Energy Shift – How Latinos in California Reworked Politics in America,’ which chronicles the event of Latino political empowerment by way of the inspiring journeys of 10 trailblazing Latino leaders.
María S. Salinas/Achievement in Enterprise
María S. Salinas is the president & CEO of the Los Ángeles Space Chamber of Commerce, the most important enterprise affiliation in Los Ángeles County representing member corporations and serving the pursuits of greater than 235,000 companies throughout the area.
Salinas took the helm of the group in August of 2018 and have become the primary lady and Latina to guide the chamber in its 132-year historical past. She can also be an appointee to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Fee on the Way forward for Work and was named to his Enterprise and Jobs Restoration Process Power.
She serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100, represents the Los Ángeles enterprise neighborhood in statewide coverage initiatives with the Coalition of Regional Financial Affiliation Leaders (R.E.A.L.), is a member of the Board of Administrators of Mobility 21, a regional transportation effort, and serves as an appointee of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to the MEXLA Fee, a overseas coverage initiative between México and Los Ángeles.
Salinas additionally serves on the board of administrators of The Music Heart, Pacific Council, UnidosUS and Southern California Management Community amongst others.
Irene Tovar/Achievement in Public Service
Irene Tovar is a Chicana activist who has served the Latino neighborhood for the reason that Nineteen Sixties. She was a part of the Chicano Motion and had the chance to work with César Chávez and Dolores Huerta.
Tovar was additionally lively within the Chicano Moratorium Committee to protest the injustices that Chicanos had been dealing with throughout the Vietnam Conflict. She held a place within the administration of former Gov. Jerry Brown serving as a particular assistant to expedite authorities providers and served eight years as the primary Mexican American appointed to the state Personnel Board.
As president of the board from 1975 to 1981, she was instrumental in implementing insurance policies and procedures, together with differential pay and Affirmative Motion, which eliminated synthetic obstacles within the State Civil Service system.
Tovar subsequently served a four-year time period on the Public Employment Relations Board, overseeing union negotiations on the state’s schools, universities and public-school techniques. Whereas on the Governor’s workplace, Tovar organized a statewide Chicanas Points Convention with over 2,000 attendees.
Since 1991, Tovar has served because the CEO of the Latin American Civic Affiliation. She’s going to obtain an honorary doctoral diploma within the Humanities from CSU, Northridge in Could.
Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela/Achievement in Well being & Science
For greater than 40 years, Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela has labored to enhance the care, training, and alternatives for the Latino neighborhood within the Inland Empire.
A local of Chile, the place he was raised in difficult financial circumstances, Valenzuela grew to become an OB-GYN doctor and constructed a Ladies’s Well being Division that serves San Bernardino county’s poorest residents.
A lifelong learner, Valenzuela accomplished two fellowships and earned an MBA later in life, whereas training medication full-time. Valenzuela led the turnaround of an organization, which in the end managed take care of 140,000 sufferers earlier than he bought it to a Fortune 100 firm.
Valenzuela presently owns seven clinics the place 20,000 households obtain take care of bodily and behavioral wants. He based the Valenzuela Household Basis and the Hispanic Well being Institute to assist packages and analysis that enhance the well being of various populations.
Valenzuela repeatedly sponsors packages that award computer systems to center faculty college students in an essay contest. As a result of his mom is an artist, he additionally ‘practices’ poetry in addition to medication.
Cheech Marín/Particular visitor, 2018 Latino Spirit Award Honoree
An actor, director, author, musician, artwork collector, and humanitarian, Cheech Marín is a paradox on the earth of leisure.
He’s finest often known as half of the satirical duo Cheech and Chong, who collectively launched numerous albums, of which six went gold, 4 had been nominated for Grammys, and ‘Los Cochinos’ received the 1973 Grammy for Finest Comedy Recording. He starred in eight function movies.
Other than his movie profession, he’s additionally acknowledged as a preeminent Chicano artwork advocate. Within the mid-Eighties, he started creating the best non-public assortment of Chicano artwork. A lot of it shaped the core of his inaugural exhibition ‘Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge,’ which broke attendance information throughout its groundbreaking 15‐metropolis tour throughout 2001‐07 to main artwork museums throughout the US.
Furthering his aim to introduce Chicano artwork to a wider viewers, Marín has entered a partnership with the Metropolis of Riverside and the Riverside Artwork Museum to create The Marín Heart for Chicano Artwork, Tradition, and Business.
Slated to open subsequent month, ‘The Cheech’ will turn into the everlasting residence for his greater than 700 works of Chicano artwork, together with work, sculptures, and images. Collectively, it’s the most famous Chicano artwork assortment in the US.