Conference Past Awardees

The Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award

The recipient of this award must have done work for the betterment of the Hispanic community which is national in scope as well as recent and relevant to contemporary Hispanic America.

The Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award, named in honor of Graciela Olivarez for her lifetime commitment to Hispanic women’s rights, is presented to an individual or organization that has made the most significant contributions in promoting the interests of Hispanic Americans. Graciela Olivarez, who rightly earned the title “Amazing Grace,” led the 1972 campaign to require equal representation of men and women on the UnidosUS Board of Directors. She was also the first woman to graduate from Notre Dame Law School, and later became the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in President Carter’s administration.

Graciela Olivarez
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1985 Honorable Esteban E. Torres

1991 Dr. Antonia Pantoja

1992 Lena Guerrero Santos

1993 Honorable Miriam Santos

1994 Charlie Ericksen

1995 Eunice Diaz

1996 Alex Mercure

1997 Baldemar Velasquez

1998 Frank Sherry

1999 Cushing Dolbeare

2000 Honorable Xavier Becerra

2001 Honorable Antonio V. Villaraigosa

2002 Arturo Rodriguez

2003 Mari Carmen Aponte

2004 Maria Elena Durazo

2005 Adelfa and Bill Callejo

2006 Vilma Martinez

2007 Paul Chavez

2008 Antonia Hernández

2009 Anthony D. Romero

2010 Honorable Phil Gordon

2011 Honorable Maria Otero

2012 Reverend James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Chavero

2013 Anna Maria Chávez

2014 Gloria Molina

2015 Dr. Juliet V. Garcia

2016 Sylvia Mendez

2017 Elisa de la Vara

2018 Sonia Gutiérrez

2019 Marielena Hincapié

2020 Henry Muñoz

2021 Stacey Abrams

2022 Eduardo Díaz

2023 Maria Gabriela “Gaby” Pacheco

The Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership

The recipient of this award must have worked for the betterment of the Hispanic community at the local level, and his or her contributions must be recent and relevant to contemporary Hispanic America.

The Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership, named in honor of the UnidosUS Board of Directors’ founding chairperson, recognizes an individual whose leadership has served as a source of strength and support to the Hispanic community. Maclovio Barraza, a lifelong labor activist, helped organize the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, and was part of its executive board until 1967 when it merged with the United Steelworkers Union. At the time of his death, he was leading major negotiations to improve the conditions of Hispanics working in the copper industry in Arizona.

Maclovio Barraza
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1985 Honorable Ricardo Manuel Urbina

1991 Everett Alvarez, Jr.

1992 Donald E. Mroscak

1993 Honorable Ed Pastor

1994 Polly Baca

1995 Guadalupe Reyes

1996 Bernie Valdez

1997 Tomas Atencio

1998 Dr. Juan Romagoza

1999 Judge Albert Peña

2000 Sr. Alicia Cuarón

2001 Lorraine Lee

2002 Guarione Diaz

2003 Judge Armando de Leon

2004 Honorable Ed Pastor

2005 Father Gregory J. Boyle, S.J.

2006 Dr. Walter Sava

2007 Emilio Estefan, Jr.

2008 Founders of HOPE

2009 Rosie Perez

2010 José M. Hernández

2011 Jorge Muñoz

2012 Raynaldo L. Martinez

2013 Salvador Longoria

2014 Angelica Salas

2015 Luis Garden Acosta

2016 Dr. Richard Izquierdo

2017 Bazta Arpaio

2018 Ruby Corado

2019 The San Diego Rapid Response Network

2020 Ai-jen Poo

2021 Judge Lina Hidalgo

2022 Rosie Castro

2023 Juan Salgado

The Ruben Salazar Award for Communications

The recipient of this award must be a communications professional who has dedicated his or her professional life to portraying issues, concerns, and/or news relevant to contemporary Hispanic America.

The Ruben Salazar Award for Communications, named in honor of the distinguished journalist who was killed on August 29, 1970, by a policeman’s tear gas projectile while covering an antiwar march in East Los Angeles, annually recognizes an individual who has dedicated his or her life to promoting the accurate and positive portrayal of Hispanic historical, political, economic, and cultural contributions to American society. Salazar began a career in investigative reporting which took him from a position as a young reporter with the El Paso Herald-Post to the city room of the prestigious Los Angeles Times. Salazar covered the war in Vietnam, revolutionary tumult in Latin America, and day-to-day events in Mexico City. He was among the first Hispanics to become prominent and well-respected in journalism.

Ruben Salazar
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1985 René Enríquez

1991 Joaquin Blaya

1992 Paul Rodriquez

1993 Little Joe Hernandez

1994 Liz Balmaseda

1995 Jose Luis Ruiz

1996 Ray Suarez

1997 Juan Gonzalez

1998 Maria Martin

1999 Maria Hinojosa

2000 Award not presented

2001 Commissioner Gloria Tristani

2002 Jorge Ramos

2003 Frank del Olmo

2004 Alex Nogales

2005 Soledad O’Brian

2006 Maria Elena Salinas

2007 Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

2008 Juan Williams

2009 John Quiñones

2010 Lori Montenegro

2011 Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr.

2012 Rossana Rosado

2013 Raquel “Rocsi” Diaz

2014 José Díaz-Balart

2015 Mandalit del Barco

2016 María Celeste Arrarás

2017 Lalo Alcaraz

2018 Lourdes Meluzá

2019 David Begnaud

2020 Ed O’Keefe

2021 Lulu Garcia-Navarro

2022 Jean Guerrero

2023 Alfredo Corchado

The Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence

The recipient of this award must be a sports professional who has found ways to positively portray Hispanic Americans and bring awareness and solutions to issues that affect contemporary Hispanic America.

The Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence, named in honor of the athlete considered by many to be the greatest outfielder in baseball, is presented to an individual or organization renowned in the world of sports, as well as committed to the advancement of Hispanic Americans. During his career, Clemente won four batting titles and was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the National League (1966) and the World Series (1971). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. It was his charitable efforts that led to his tragic death; on New Year’s Eve 1972, he was aboard a plane with relief supplies for the earthquake victims of Managua, Nicaragua, when the aircraft crashed at sea.

Roberto Clemente, circa 1957
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1992 Tommy Nuñez

1993 Henry J. “Hank” Aguirre

1994 Jose “Chegui” Torres

1995 Tony Casillas

1996 Gustavo Gil

1997 Rudy Galindo

1998 Paul Gonzalez, Jr.

1999–2002 Award not presented

2003 Joe Kapp

2004 Tabare Ramos

2005 Award not presented

2006 Arturo “Arte” Moreno

2007 Award not presented

2008 Luis Castillo

2009 Anthony Muñoz

2010 Carlos Delgado

2011 Thomas R. “Tom” Flores

2012 Jesse James Leija

2013 Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso

2014 Manny Mota

2015 Cookie Rojas

2016 Orlando Cruz

2017 Earl Watson

2018–19 Award not presented

2020 Laurie Hernandez

2021 Ron Rivera

2022 Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez Torres

2023 Award not presented

Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award

The UnidosUS President presents the Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award to an individual or organization that has shown outstanding support for UnidosUS’s mission, goals, and philosophy.

Raul Yzaguirre
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1985 Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Lodwrick M. Cook

1991 Peter H. Coors

1992 Dr. Antonia C. Novello, M.D.

1993 Herman E. Gallegos

1994 H.J. (Jack) Young

1995 William S. Randall

1996 Susan Vail Berresford

1997 Steven S. Reinemund

1998 Catherine P. Bessant

1999 Joseph B. Gleason

2000 State Farm Insurance Companies

2001 Honorable Rubén Hinojosa

2002 Arabella Martinez

2003 Honorable Ciro Rodriguez

2004 Jennifer Maloney

2005 Alex Wallau

2006 Honorable Raul Yzaguirre

2007 Honorable Henry G. Cisneros

2008 Gara LaMarche and The Atlantic Philanthropies

2009 Monica Lozano

2010 Lionel Sosa

2011 José H. Villarreal

2012 Christine M. Owens

2013 Luis Ubiñas

2014 Eva Longoria

2015 Tony Salazar

2016 Wells Fargo

2017 Bank of America

2018 Ford Foundation

2019 Daniel R. Ortega, Jr.

2020 Prudential

2021 David L. Cohen

2022 Tommy Espinoza

2023 Marc Morial

Affiliate of the Year Award

The Affiliate of the Year Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an UnidosUS Affiliate for its exemplary work in serving the Latino community and advancing the mission of UnidosUS.

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1985 Home Education Livelihood Program, Inc. (HELP)

1991 Nebraska Association of Farmworkers, Inc. (NAF)

1992 Centro de la Communidad Unida/United Community Center (UCC)

1993 Mujeres Latinas en Accion

1994 Friendly House

1995 Hispanic Office of Planning and Evaluation (HOPE)

1996 Center for Training and Careers, Inc. (CTC) and Youth Development Inc. (YDI)

1997 El Hogar del Nino

1998 Spanish Speaking Unity Council

1999 Amigos Del Valle

2000 Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe

2001 United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS)

2002 Alivio Medical Center

2005 Congreso de Latinos Unidos

2006 Carlos Rosario International Career Center

2007 CentroNía

2008 Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF)

2009 Instituto del Progreso Latino

2010 Mujeres Latinas en Acción

2011 Mary’s Center

2012 Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA)

2013 Southwest Key Programs, Inc.

2014 Congreso de Latinos Unidos

2015 El Concilio

2016 Hispanic Unity of Florida

2017 MAAC

2018 PODER

2019 Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

2020 Centro Campesino

2021 Esperanza Health Centers

2022 One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico

2023 Comunidades Unidas

Lifetime Achievement Award

The UnidosUS Lifetime Achievement Award is not given annually, but rather very rarely; only when the organization feels specially moved to recognize a person for the cumulative impact of his or her whole life on our community.

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1985 Ana G. Mendez