The California Latino Legislative Caucus recognized the 10 most outstanding Latinos of the year during its 16th annual Latino Spirit Awards today (May 1) at the State Capitol during an Assembly floor ceremony.
Awards are handed out in various categories such as technology; journalism & media; literature; health & science; business, education; human rights; arts; public service, entertainment and advocacy.
(See www.vidaenelvalle.com throughout the week for stories on 9 of the 10 honorees. Honoree María Elena Salinas was not able to attend due to a flight cancellation.)
Since 2002, the Latino Spirit Awards were established at the State Capitol to coincide with the state’s acknowledgment of Cinco de Mayo and to highlight the positive role models in the Latino community.
During the award presentation, the honorees were escorted by lawmakers and recognized for their accomplishments with opening remarks made by the former State Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso.
Reynoso said that the Latino Spirit Awards shine the light on the contribution Latinos make to the community. He said this year’s award recipients are role models for future generations.
“I’ve been inspired by reading all about their contributions,” Reynoso said, adding that all the recipients represent the diversity of California.
Reynoso said each and every one of these honorees make the community stronger.
“You all capture the essence of the Latino Spirits awards,” he said.
The 2017 Latino Spirit Award honorees
▪ Beatriz Acevedo, (President/Founder, Mitú) Achievement in Technology & Media
▪ Sylvia Acevedo, (Interim CEO, Girl Scouts USA) Achievement in Health & Science
▪ Isabel Allende, (Author) Achievement in Literature
▪ Dr. Joseph I. Castro, (President, CSU Fresno) Achievement in Education
▪ Father Miguel Ceja, (Pastor, OLPH Parish, Riverside) Achievement in Human Rights
▪ Jonas Corona, (Founder, Love in the Mirror, Long Beach) Dynamic Youth Award
▪ Dr. Michael Lizárraga, (President/CEO, TELACU) Achievement in Business
▪ Adrián Molina, (Co-director/writer, PIXAR) Achievement in Arts & Entertainment
▪ María Elena Salinas, (Anchor, Univisión) Achievement in Journalism & Media
▪ Josephine S. Talamantez, (Founder/Board Chair, Chicano Park San Diego) Achievement in Arts & Advocacy