CA Latino Caucus Honors Latino Trailblazers with 16th Annual Latino Spirit Awards

May 01, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Latino Legislative Caucus today recognized Latino trailblazers at its 16th Annual Latino Spirit Awards during a Assembly floor ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento, CA. Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso delivered keynote remarks. 


“The Latino Caucus is proud to present these outstanding individuals with the Latino Spirit Awards,” said Caucus Chairman, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).  “Through their hard work, their commitment to the community, or their achievements in their respective fields, they serve as role models, not only for Latinos, but for all Californians. They are the essence of the Latino Spirit.”  


Every year, the Latino Caucus honors Latinos/as in a variety of categories that range from athletics/sports, to public service and human rights.  Many of the honorees are pioneers in their respective fields and have overcome tremendous obstacles, rising to become role models and community leaders. They serve as a reminder of the talent we have within our diverse Latino community and are a source of inspiration to all Californians. Established in 2002, The Latino Spirit Awards take place each year at the State Capitol in Sacramento to coincide with the state’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo and to recognize inspirational figures in the Latino community. This year’s honorees included:


  •   Beatriz Acevedo, (President/Founder, mitú) Achievement in Technology & Media
  •   Sylvia Acevedo, (Interim CEO, Girl Scouts USA) Achievement in Health & Science
  •   Isabel Allende, (Author) Achievement in Literature
  •   Dr. Joseph I. Castro, (President, CSU Fresno) Achievement in Education
  •   Father Miguel Ceja, (Pastor, OLPH Parish, Riverside) Achievement in Human Rights
  •   Jonas Corona, (Founder, Love in the Mirror, Long Beach) Dynamic Youth Award
  •   Dr. Michael Lizárraga, (President/CEO, TELACU) Achievement in Business
  •   Adrian Molina, (Co-director/writer, PIXAR) Achievement in Arts & Entertainment
  •   Maria Elena Salinas, (Anchor, Univision) Achievement in Journalism & Media
  •   Josephine S. Talamantez, (Founder/Board Chair, Chicano Park San Diego) Achievement in Arts & Advocacy


“Each and every one of these honorees, in their own way, help make our multi-ethnic America stronger, more prosperous, and more educated,” Justice Reynoso said as he addressed the honorees and the members of the legislature from the Assembly dais. “Each and every one has helped create a richer tapestry of California and I believe that because of their work, they have inspired more Californians to add to it. Each and every one of them inspires and encourages us to grow, to live, to understand and respect one another.  Because of their work and accomplishments, we can all be proud to be Latinos in California and in America.”  


For more information and complete biographies of this year’s honorees, please click here or visit