Celebrating Latino legacy and contribution, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) convened more than 2,000 community leaders and allies to honor our community’s resilience, power, and growing leadership during the CHCI 42nd Annual Awards Gala on September 19, 2019.
The 2019 Alumni Association Leadership Luncheon, sponsored by Exxon Mobil, kicked off festivities recognizing esteemed CHCI alumni YWCA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo with the 2019 Medallion of Excellence for a Distinguished Alumnus and Alma N. Acosta with the Young Alumnus Award. Policy and sector leaders along with community influencers and professionals also had the opportunity to network during the Chair’s Private Reception thanks to our friends at ConocoPhillips.
Pamela Silva Conde, six-time Emmy award winning journalist and co-anchor of Univision’s Primer Impacto, emceed the entire evening with Mexican American vocalist Stephanie Amaro commencing the ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem.
CHCI President and CEO Marco A. Davis and Gala Host, Bank of America Market President for Greater Los Angeles Raul Anaya, began the celebration with remarks of gratitude and hope at today’s emerging agents of change calling to stage the CHCI fellows and interns.
The messages of unity, familia, and change rang loud throughout the night beginning with a tribute to our brothers and sisters in El Paso led by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. CHC Chair Joaquin Castro, U.S. Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, and U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also took the stage continuing the needed dialog on solidarity and on the importance of this new generation working to lead a better America for all.
The special “Familias Unidas” gathering held a moment of homage for all who have suffered tremendous loss this year and an urge for those in positions of power to continue to fight for Latino families everywhere. CHCI Chair and Representative Ruben Gallego shared on the importance of celebrating our community’s significant contributions and refocusing the narrative to focus on our positive truths, especially during a time when others are trying to minimize our collective progress.
Championing Latino excellence, CHCI honored agents of change who have forged new paths in science and the arts, opening doors for generations to follow. CHCI Hispanic Heritage Month Co-Chairs and Representatives Adriano Espaillat and Norma Torres, CHCI Board Secretary Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and CHCI Board Vice Chair Ron Estrada introduced the night’s special guests with their awards. The Medallion of Excellence award recipients Dr. Ellen Ochoa and Director Robert Rodriguez shared words of gratitude, inspiration and call to action for more daring leadership and representation across industries.
Latino salsa legend, Tito Nieves, shut the house down with a soulful and fiery performance drawing the crowd to their feet. Also known as El Pavarotti de la Salsa with acclaimed hits like the 1997 remake of “I Like it Like That,” Nieves brought to life our community’s culture and heritage through his music.
Serving as one of our country’s staple kickoffs for Hispanic Heritage Month and the largest and most prestigious Hispanic nonpartisan event, CHCI will continue to provide a platform to unite, elevate, and empower our community.