Thursday, October 12, 2017

So honored to be the recipient of the 2017 Latina Legend Habla Con Orgullo Award this Evening

Heartfelt thanks to Paul Saldaña, Dr. Nora Comstock, and friends for such a wonderful evening at the 2017 Habla Con Orgullo Awards Ceremony. Praise to all the nominees and winners because the incredible roster of outstanding individuals and organizations shows just how strong we truly are as a Latinx advocacy community here in Austin, Texas (see details below).  Watch out, world!  :-)

Speaking on behalf of those of us in Nuestro Grupo and Academia Cuauhtli, I'm deeply humbled by the recognition that I/we received this evening even as we are mindful of the countless numbers of those spearheading the cause for Ethnic Studies throughout the state of Texas as a whole.  This is indeed an invigorating movement that is grounded in a deep and historic struggle for curricular inclusion and respect.

It is such an honor and privilege to labor in the service of our community which is so incredibly hard-working, talented, and committed to the creation of a more just world, frequently facing head on the harsh, political winds and ominous darkness that threaten to engulf.  

It is so encouraging to be a ray of hope, courage, and kindness for, and to, one another.  It is equally beautiful to reinforce relations, build trust, and deepen friendships through opportunities like these.

Thanks to all for their faith in us as we continue forward to both educate and liberate our children and ourselves in Austin, Texas! 

Here are a few photos from this evening below.  

Muchísimas gracias!

Angela Valenzuela

 from Paul Saldaña--

Latino/a Community Leader – Demonstrated and proven leadership, advocacy, and action on behalf of Austin’s Latino community
- Jessica Robledo, Police Chief, City of Pflugerville
- Jill Ramirez, Chair, HQLI
- Vanessa Santamaría Dainton, KLRU Educational Services/First President Austin Council of PTAs, Advocate for Bilingual Education & Latino/Immigrant Families
- Zenén Jaimes Perez, Austin Commission for Immigrant Affairs/ TCRP
- Paula Rojas (Mama Sana)
WINNER - Denise D. Hernandez, Hustle for the Cause

Latino Community Organization – Outstanding organization, advocating, serving the needs, and/or making a positive impact on our Austin Latino community
- La Voz de Austin, monthly Hispanic/Latino publication focused on Latino news and quality of life issues
- Latinitas, a non-profit organization focused on informing, entertaining, and inspiring young Latinas to grow into healthy, confident, and successful Latinas. Our mission is to empower Latina youth through media and technology
- Latino Healthcare Forum, organization that provides vulnerable populations access to comprehensive, culturally competent, and quality primary healthcare services.
- Youth Rise Texas, Youth Rise Texas is an Austin, Texas based organization, largely comprised of young women and queer youth of color, who have been impacted by the incarceration or deportation of a parent or caregiver.
WINNER - Con Mi Madre, supporting Mothers/Daughters: Strengthen, Education, Support & Succeed, Young Latinas and their mothers enroll into Con Mi MADRE together and are offered an array of services including: mother-daughter conferences, college visits, campus meetings, community service activities, counseling, and mentoring throughout the year.

Latino Campaign/Cause – Outstanding advocacy initiative or cause during the last year having an impact on our Austin Latino community
- Jolt, Texas Based multi-issue org building political power & influence of Latinos in Democracy
- Sabados en Familia, provides free Cultural Art Activities for the Family at the Mexican American Cultural Center
WINNER - Save East Austin Schools (SEAS) Political Action Committee (PAC), grassroots East Austin Organization advocating for educational equity in AISD Bonds

Latino/a Legend – Has made a significant impact to our Latino community and exemplifies Legado, Liderazgo y Latinidad improving our overall Latino quality of life in Austin
Frank Rodriguez, Susana Almanza & Me

- Frank Rodriguez, Senior Policy Advisory, Mayor’s Office, Health & Human Services, Equity, & Latino Quality of Life issues
- Gloria Espitia, Retired Historian Austin History Center, Marketing Representative, ESB-MACC
- Susana Almanza, Co-Founder and Executive Director of PODER
- Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, UT School of Journalism/KUT, VOCES Oral History Project
WINNER - Dr. Angela Valenzuela, University of Texas Professor, Advocacy and Activism in Bilingual Education, Mexican American Studies/Ethnic Studies, and Academia Cuauhtli


  1. Muchas felicidades, Angela! Con orgullo y pa'delante....~TR.

    1. Gracias, Teresa! We are all so blessed to have each other and to be working together. La union hace la fuerza!