Esperanza's Rev. Cortes Calls National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast & Conference an "Overwhelming Force for Good"

Jul 03, 2013, 12:00 ET from Esperanza

Announces Major Partnerships with Sovereign Bank and Tony Plana

PHILADELPHIA, July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reverend Luis Cortes, president and founder of Esperanza, the nation's premier Hispanic faith-based organization with a national network of 13,000 members, thanked participants, speakers, and musicians, for their part in making the 2013 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference an "overwhelming force for good."

The conference, held in Washington, D.C. on June 18-20, 2013, not only trained participants on advocacy issues, but also created an opportunity for dialogue with Congressional members on the topic of immigration reform. On June 19, 2013, Rev. Cortes led over 300 clergy and community leaders from across the nation to Capitol Hill for over 100 meetings with members of Congress and Senators from both sides of the aisle. The following week, on June 27, 2013, Rev. Cortes praised the U.S. Senate passage of a landmark immigration bill, "the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" (S. 744), and urged prompt U.S. House action on the bill. 

During Esperanza's signature Prayer Breakfast on June 20, 2013, two major partnerships were announced:

  • Carlos Garcia, Chief of Staff of Sovereign Bank I Santander, a wholly owned subsidiary of Santander Holdings USA, announced a commitment of $600,000 over six years to revitalize the economy in North Eastern Philadelphia, i.e. the "business corridor," in partnership with Esperanza.
  • Actor and education advocate Tony Plana, Esperanza's Image Award Recipient, announced that he would be providing support and assistance in developing Esperanza's student performing arts program.

Rev. Cortes said: "On behalf of Esperanza, I want to thank Sovereign Bank I Santander, and Tony Plana, for their generous commitments. It is with these investments that we can improve the education and career opportunities for our children in Philadelphia, and contribute to the future success of Latinos in America."

Said Marcos Witt, five-time Latin Grammy award winner and emcee for the Prayer Breakfast, "It was a blessing to be a part of this historic and powerful event, where we combined faith and action.  I believe we all came away inspired to enact change in our local communities and beyond."

This year's speakers included: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus; Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); TV personality Myrka Dellanos; and many others.

Immigration reform was at the forefront of the discussion, which included more than 600 guests from across the nation.  Other issues discussed included housing, hunger and nutrition, and education.

Esperanza is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to raising awareness and identifying resources that strengthen the Hispanic community. Esperanza's initiatives help develop communities, provide technical assistance to Latino faith and community-based organizations, providing workforce development opportunities, and other measures.

SOURCE Esperanza