WASHINGTON, June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) today announced its 2010 highest honors to be awarded at its 33rd Annual Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The event is hosted by Toyota.
Actress, activist, and philanthropist Eva Longoria Parker, and jazz legend, classical musician, professor, and international music ambassador Arturo Sandoval will each receive a 2010 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service. Award-winning Broadway composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda will receive the 2010 CHCI Chair's Award from CHCI Chair Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez. This year's Hispanic Heritage Month theme is "Celebrating History, Heritage and the American Dream."
"The 33rd Annual Awards Gala honors Latinos who have not only made a significant impact in their careers, but who also realize the importance of giving back to their communities," said Velazquez. "This year's theme highlights Latinos' embrace of the American Dream and commitment to the success of our great nation. It also reflects the historical contributions of Latinos in the United States as we join the celebration of Latin American landmark independence anniversaries all over the hemisphere and the 400 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Santa Fe."
"Toyota is proud to host the 33rd Annual Awards Gala and support CHCI's mission to develop the next generation of Latino leaders, " said Pat Pineda, group vice president, national philanthropy and The Toyota USA Foundation. "We are pleased to celebrate History, Heritage, and the American Dream in recognition of the many talented young Latinos that are assisted by CHCI's award-winning programs."
CHCI's 33rd Annual Awards Gala is also supported by Premier level sponsor Comcast, and Millennium level sponsors Anheuser-Busch Companies, Lilly USA, Lockheed Martin, and Univision. The 2010 Public Policy Conference is hosted by AstraZeneca.
2010 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Honorees
Activist, actress, philanthropist, and "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria Parker is the founder of EVA's HEROES, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those with developmental challenges by providing an exclusive setting built on the four tenets of interact, grow, learn, and love. In addition, she is the national spokesperson for PADRES CONTRA el CANCER, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families. Together with her husband Tony Parker, Longoria Parker has also taken an active role in MAKE-A-WISH France, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. In addition to the many charities that Longoria Parker supports, she has also started The Eva Longoria Fund where she raises money, not only for her personal charities, but also to support causes all over the world. She is also an executive producer and host for the National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards, and is producing her first documentary HARVEST which focuses on the plight of the estimated 500,000 child farm workers, whose tireless efforts help feed America. Longoria Parker is involved with the United Farm Workers, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Bexer County Fine Arts Board, the Cesar Chaves Foundation, and was most recently selected by Speaker Pelosi for the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. Longoria Parker owns BESO restaurants, a fragrance line, "EVA by Eva Longoria," her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Productions, and an eco-friendly development firm in Portland, The GreenVille Project. Longoria Parker is also currently filming the feature film "Cristiada" in Mexico with Andy Garcia.
"I am truly honored to be recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute with the 2010 Medallion of Excellence," said Longoria Parker. "I am humbled to receive this award from CHCI that places me among a distinguished list of past honorees that have been acknowledged for their leadership in improving our community and our society as a whole. My philanthropy is very important to me, and I will continue to support essential causes that need my voice."
Arturo Sandoval is one of the most dynamic and vivacious musicians of our time, winning five Grammy Awards (nominated 10 times), six Billboard Awards, and an Emmy Award. Sandoval was a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group Irakere, whose explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock and traditional Cuban music caused a sensation throughout the entertainment world. He works nationally and abroad with university and institution music departments offering scholarships, exercise books, clinics and seminars, and works with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences educational program.
"It is a great privilege and I feel overwhelmed to receive such a distinguished award," said Sandoval. "It is a wonderful honor and I feel very humbled. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart."
2010 CHCI Chair's Award Honoree
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning actor, and a Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer. He is best known for writing and starring in the Broadway musical In the Heights, which opened on Broadway in 2008, and was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2009. Miranda also received the Medal of Honor from the National Arts Club in 2008. For two years, Miranda has been a part of the NYC Just Ask The Locals campaign, promoting travel to upper-Manhattan neighborhoods throughout the world. Miranda has also been actively involved with several national outreach organizations including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, The Woodhull Medical Center's Latina Suicide Prevention Program and DKMS Americas, an organization which recruits bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. He has been a supporter and volunteer for the Hispanic Federation for the past decade.
"I am sincerely grateful to be honored by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, an organization that helps young Latinos achieve their dreams, and to Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez for being an inspiration to us all," said Miranda. "As our community increasingly gains power and influence, we must continue to give back and seek to inspire the next generation of Latino leadership."
Soledad O'Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent, will serve as celebrity host of the event. O'Brien is a 2009 recipient of the CHCI Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service. She has reported breaking news from around the globe and award-winning, celebrated documentaries on the most important stories and issues facing the world today.
The Medallion of Excellence is CHCI's highest honor and is presented each year to an individual (one male and one female) who conducts himself or herself in an exemplary manner and who can serve as a role model and standard-bearer for the Latino community, particularly Latino youth. The qualifying factor is community involvement through the initiation or support of programs that benefit the Hispanic community as a whole.
The CHCI Chair's Award(s) is presented each year to an individual who has dedicated his or her public or private career to improving the lives of Hispanic Americans. The honoree is chosen wholly at the Chair's discretion.
The 33rd Annual Awards Gala helps raise funds for CHCI's leadership development programs and emphasizes the growing need for more opportunities for Latino youth as the Latino population grows to one in four Americans by 2030.
About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit leaders and corporate executives. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org.
Contact: Scott Gunderson Rosa, +1-202-548-5876, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute