The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and its Chair Congressman Joaquín Castro announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda and Cástulo de la Rocha will each receive a CHCI Medallion of Excellence award at the upcoming CHCI 40th Anniversary Awards Gala in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, September 13.
CHCI’s highest honor, the Medallion of Excellence, is bestowed upon individuals who are positive Hispanic American role models and exemplify unparalleled accomplishments, civic leadership, and service to the greater American society.
“Lin-Manuel has inspired many Americans through his work and advocacy, and he has challenged us to embrace our common humanity along the way,” said Congressman Joaquín Castro, Chairman, CHCI. He continued, “Cástulo has spent a lifetime dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to underserved communities.”
“Lin-Manuel Miranda and Cástulo de la Rocha have both made powerful contributions to our nation and changed countless lives. We are honored to recognize them, especially as we celebrate CHCI’s 40th anniversary,” said Castro.
Internationally Renowned, Award-winning Author Sandra Cisneros to Receive Chair’s Award
Honoring a prominent writing career that spans more than 40 years and her lasting positive effect on both the Latino community and the greater American society, Congressman Joaquín Castro, CHCI Chair, has announced his selection for the 2017 Chair’s Award—Sandra Cisneros.
“Sandra Cisneros has been a strong voice for the Latino community through her writing. She has mastered the art of poignant storytelling and her works illustrate real life—joys and heartbreak, strength and determination—while encouraging a spirit of kindness and generosity toward all people. Both on and off the page, Sandra is a voice of activism, positive change, and most importantly—hope,” said Congressman Joaquín Castro, Chairman, CHCI.
2017 CHCI Chair’s Award Honoree Sandra Cisneros
“I am the daughter of a Mexican immigrant who became a U.S. citizen by serving in the U.S. Army. I am the granddaughter of campesinos who arrived in this country as migrant farmworkers. Perhaps never more in the history of our nation do we need to unite as a community on behalf of community. It is with gratitude and humility that I accept the recognition of the CHCI.” —Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros—award-winning poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, and activist—has reached millions of people through her writing. Her work, which primarily explores the lives of the working-class, is a powerful reflection of life that also seamlessly raises awareness of social issues. Her storytelling develops complex, highly relatable characters that exhibit a range of emotions, strength, and determination on their personal journeys. Her coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold more than five million copies and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.
Sandra’s writing has earned her international recognition, and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and most recently Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. To encourage and support other writers, Sandra has created two foundations—the Macondo Foundation, which has served hundreds of socially-engaged writers through the Macondo Writer’s Workshop, and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, a grant-giving institution for Texas writers created in memory of Sandra’s father.