Congressman Joaquín Castro to Bestow CHCI Chair’s Award upon Award-winning Author and Activist Sandra Cisneros

Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
and its Chair Congressman Joaquín
Castro announced that Sandra
will receive the prestigious CHCI Chair’s Award at the CHCI
40th Anniversary Awards Gala
in the nation’s capital on September 13.

The Chair’s Award celebrates an outstanding Hispanic American role model
for their collective accomplishments—personal triumphs, professional
successes, leadership, and civic engagement that combine to make a
lasting positive effect on both the Latino community and the greater
American society.

“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,” said Congressman
Joaquín Castro, Chairman, CHCI
. He continued, “Both on and off the
page, Sandra is a voice of activism, positive change, and most

“Sandra has been recognized and praised for her collection of works that
span more than 40 years. Her thoughtful words have been translated into
more than 20 languages, touching the lives of people around the world.
CHCI is proud to honor Sandra Cisneros with the Chair’s Award in
recognition of her passionate spirit, her talents and achievements, and
her commitment to the Hispanic community,” said Castro.

—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

“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 farm workers,” said Sandra
Cisneros. “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 CHCI.”

CHCI’s Annual Gala is its signature celebration of Hispanic
Heritage Month that attracts an impressive gathering of Latino community
advocates, including Members of Congress and other elected officials,
corporate executives, public sector and nonprofit leaders, educators,
celebrities, and media. The 2017 Awards Gala is the 40th anniversary of
the inaugural fundraising dinner organized by five Hispanic Members of
Congress to benefit Hispanic youth. It now boasts more than 2,000
attendees who come together to celebrate the cultural richness and
diversity of the Hispanic community and support Latino youth leadership
development. This year’s event will be held at the Washington Marriott
Marquis on Wednesday, September 13.

About CHCI

The Congressional
Hispanic Caucus Institute
(CHCI) is the nation’s premier,
nonpartisan nonprofit organization that invests in emerging Latino
leaders by providing opportunities to explore public policy and
leadership in our nation’s capital. The CHCI experience inspires young
Latinos for greater personal and professional achievement by placing
them on a new trajectory—through paid Congressional internships and
fellowships, leadership development, civic engagement, community
service, and networking. Program graduates join a powerful alumni
network where they continue to shape our country’s future by creating
positive change on the local, regional, and national level. CHCI
educates, empowers, and connects the next generation of Latino leaders
to strengthen the Latino community and the nation. CHCI’s
Board of Directors
is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress,
nonprofit, union and corporate leaders who champion leadership
opportunities for Latino youth. Join us on Facebook,
and Instagram.

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