¡Adelante Esperanza! celebrates Casa de Esperanza’s 35 years of work to create social change, inspired and led by Latin@s of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Recipients will range from attorney and activist Mónica Ramírez, the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers, who is now President of Alianza Nacional de Campensinas and leading the largest Latina Equal Pay movement in the country, to local Latin@ youth who will receive a Youth Leadership in Action Award. Hector E. Sanchez Barba, Executive Director of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and Chair of National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), will receive the National Latin@ Champion Award for his commitment to Latina leadership and ensuring gender-inclusive policies and action. Two other awards are named in honor of Sandra L. Vargas (former President of the Minneapolis Foundation) and Lupe R. Serrano (former CEO of Casa de Esperanza ), both of whom mentored and profoundly influenced generations of local leaders, and will be presented to Latina adults who are working within this community.
The evening’s program will culminate in a keynote address by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto who will accept a special ¡Adelante Esperanza! Award to recognize her inspirational leadership. Yulín Cruz, who was born and raised in San Juan, developed into a leader in high school, where she was an honor student, an accomplished member of the track team, and the Student Council president. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston University, graduating cum laude, and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she received a master's degree. She moved back to Puerto Rico in 1992 and immediately jumped into local politics. In 2008 she was elected to the House of Representatives and was elected mayor of San Juan in 2012. She has been described as a fierce advocate for the rights of working people and for gender equity and is known for her ability to seek alliances to empower people and ensure an agenda of prosperity and social justice.
Casa de Esperanza (casadeesperanza.org) was founded in 1982 by a small group of Latina activists who created an emergency shelter for Latina women and children who were being denied services from domestic violence organizations. Over the next three decades, the organization led the way in creating new initiatives that build on the traditional strengths and values of Latin@s to become the largest Latina organization in the country mobilizing Latinas and Latin@ communities to end domestic violence.
Casa de Esperanza
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