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2012 NCLR Awardees include local Priest Fa. James Manship & New Haven resident Angel Fernandez-Chavero

LAS VEGAS—On Tuesday, July 10, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will honor six individuals and organizations that have achieved extraordinary accomplishments in their professions and in service to the Hispanic community and the country. The awards will be presented to the honorees by NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía during the highly anticipated annual Awards Gala, which caps off the 2012 NCLR Annual Conference held July 7–10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year’s winners include NCLR Affiliate Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), a nonprofit community organization based in Texas; Rev. James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Chavero of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in New Haven, Conn.; the Honorable Reynaldo L. Martinez, former Chief of Staff to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada; Rossana Rosado, Publisher and CEO of El Diario-La Prensa newspaper; Jesse James Leija, former world champion boxer and supporter of the Miracle League of San Antonio; and Christine M. Owens, Senior Vice President of Communications and Brand Management at UPS.

“NCLR is thrilled to recognize the individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Hispanic community and to our great nation. Through their actions they have shown that there are no limits to what can be achieved with hard work, vision and perseverance,” Murguía said. “We congratulate AAMA, Rev. James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Chavero, the Honorable Reynaldo L. Martinez, Rossana Rosado, Jesse James Leija, and Christine M. Owens and thank them for being an inspiration to us all.”

AAMA, the recipient of NCLR’s Affiliate of the Year Award, is one of the most influential nonprofits in Texas, offering a comprehensive array of innovative programs and services to more than 22,000 individuals each year. With a particular focus on education and youth, AAMA has a stellar track record of outreach to the Latino community through programs such as the George I. Sanchez (GIS) Charter High School, which helps address Latino dropout rates in Houston; the Adelante program, which provides adults with the skills and education necessary to enter and advance in the workplace; and by offering a number of intervention services, such as Barrios Unidos, to Latino youth at risk for gang involvement, drug use, family difficulties, and dropping out of school. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon an Affiliate for exemplary nonprofit management, service to its community, and active engagement in and promotion of NCLR’s programmatic and advocacy initiatives.
Reverend James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Chavero of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in New Haven, Conn., will be honored with the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award. Rev. Manship and Fernandez-Chavero, a leader on the pastoral council, were instrumental in bringing to light the abuse that members of the community were receiving from police in the neighboring town of East Haven—arbitrary police stops, beatings, stun-gun shots, racial slurs, and illegal searches— which ultimately led to the arrest of four East Haven police officers. They also founded the St. Rose of Lima Education Task Force which provides crucial support for DREAMers on the journey to college, and were heavily involved in the passage of the Connecticut “DREAM Act.” NCLR annually presents this award to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to promoting the interests of Hispanic Americans.

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