Three Leaders in Creating Opportunity for Others Receive Martin Luther King, Jr., Award

Nov 07, 2013, 09:15 ET from Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA Recognizes Individuals Working to "Keep the Dream Alive"

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is pleased to recognize three community leaders for their outstanding contributions to the cause of justice and opportunity for all with the 2014 Keep the Dream Alive awards. Marcos Legaspi Herrera, Roger Playwin, and Ron Laurent were all named recipients of the annual award, which is given to individuals who have spent their careers working on behalf of the poor and marginalized in our society. 

The honorees will receive their awards at the 2014 Keep the Dream Alive Mass, which will be held Saturday, January 11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, will preside at the Mass. Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, will deliver the homily, and Father Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA, will concelebrate. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington will also present their 2014 "Faith Does Justice Award".

  • Marcos Legaspi Herrera: A long-time supporter of Catholic Charities in his own diocese, having served as the former board chair and volunteer, Marcos has had a long-standing commitment to supporting efforts to help the least among us. At a young age, his parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, instilling in Marcos a strong desire to expand opportunity and improve the lives of others, and he has volunteered his time to mentor and support others in his community, including efforts to promote access to higher education and the Handicapables volunteer program.
  • Roger Playwin: Roger served as the CEO of the National Council of St. Vincent de Paul from 2003 until his retirement in 2013.  During his tenure, he instituted a number of initiatives aimed at increasing opportunity and promoting justice, including building disaster response capacity to respond to natural disasters. Throughout his career, Roger has dedicated his life to working with the poor and marginalized, including work with Catholic Youth Organizations and as President of the Monroe County Inter-Faith Social Action Association.
  • Ron Laurent: A sought-after speaker and board member, Ron blazed new trails in his career in banking while maintaining his commitment and focus to those who are marginalized in our society. In 1978, Ron was president of the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association, and the following year, was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to head the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).  Throughout his career, he helped make affordable housing a reality for millions of low- and middle-income households across America.  In addition, Ron has served as the president of Catholic Charities in Chicago, and served on the board of CCUSA as vice chairman.

The awards were established in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream that one day all men may be "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Previous recipients of the award include USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon; Anthony Williams, former mayor of Washington, D.C., and Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.

About Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA's members provide help and create hope for millions of people a year, regardless of their religious, social, or economic background. To learn more about CCUSA, visit

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