Our History

Before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) was envisioned, five Hispanic Members of Congress—Herman Badillo (NY), Baltasar Corrada (PR), E. "Kika" de la Garza (TX), Henry B. Gonzalez (TX), and Edward Roybal (CA)—organized the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) in 1976. The Caucus was originally formed to serve as a legislative organization through which legislative action, as well as executive and judicial actions, could be monitored to ensure the needs of Hispanics were being met.

In 1978, three original members of CHC, Reps. Edward Roybal, E. "Kika" de la Garza and Baltasar Corrada established a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to serve as an educational institute whose programs would serve the national Hispanic community. In October 1981, new federal regulations stipulated that all fundraising activities were to be moved from all government premises. So the decision was made to maintain a legislative support organization on Capitol Hill, the CHC, and move the non-profit, fundraising organization, CHCI, to a new home.

CHCI’s Board of Directors was expanded to include influential Hispanic business leaders in 1985. These leaders served in the private sector and communities across the country. Together, with the Hispanic Members of Congress, brought policy-related knowledge and experience at the local, state, and national levels to CHCI. This vast set of resources, coupled with the expertise of the Institute’s staff resulted in programs designed to offer leadership development training and access for talented young Latinos, as well as the opportunity to enter and positively impact a wider range of professional areas.

CHCI Historical Timeline (1978 – 2015)

Celebrating Nearly 40 Years of Developing the Next Generation of Latino Leaders®

For nearly 40 years, CHCI has forged a critical pathway to Educate, Empower, and Connect our nation’s future Latino leaders, creating a transformative and lasting Impact on Latino youth and our nation. Since 1978, CHCI CHCI has been keeping the founders’ promise by making a positive, powerful difference in the lives of more than 8,500 Latinos. Below are some highlights of our organization’s rich history.

Timeline

1977

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus holds a small dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel as a fundraiser to benefit Hispanic youth. This event eventually becomes the most prestigious event for Hispanic Heritage Month - CHCI's Annual Gala.

1978

Three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressman Edward Roybal, Congressman E. Kika de la Garza and Congressman Baltasar Corrada, determine there is a great need for more Hispanics in public service. In response to this, they form a non partisan 501 (c)(3) educational organization and name it the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc.

1980

CHCI holds legislative seminars throughout the year on issues important to the Hispanic community.

1981

CHCI brings four graduate students to Washington, D.C. as the first class of its Graduate Fellowship Program.

1983

Due to its rapid ascension as a national organization, CHCI moves away from Capitol Hill to 504 C Street, NE.

1985

The CHCI Board of Directors is expanded to include influential Hispanic business and community leaders from around the country. CHCI begins bestowing its Medallions of Excellence for Community Service and Leadership to deserving Hispanic leaders at its annual gala.

1986

The CHCI Fellowship Program is expanded to include recent college graduates. The CHCI Summer Internship Program begins providing Hispanic undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the policy-making process.

1991

CHCI releases the first edition of its popular National Directory of Hispanic Organizations.

1992

CHCI adds the Edward Roybal Health component to its Fellowship program to help increase the number of Hispanics in the health field.

1993

CHCI's legislative seminars are expanded and become CHCI's Issues Conference. The conference continues to provide Hispanics with a forum to discuss issues affecting their communities.

1996

CHCI launches www.chci.org as an online one-stop resource center for Hispanics. CHCI holds its First Annual Fiesta de Golf Tournament to raise funds for its leadership development programs.

1998

CHCI forms the Alumni Association to give former program participants a forum in which to remain active with the Institute.

1999

The CHCI Issues Conference is reformatted into a summit series. This not only helps to focus attention on the most important issues of the time but also helps to attain the highest level of participation. Summit topics range from education and immigration to telecommunications and business/economic development. CHCI Board of Directors hosts regional activities at participating corporation's headquarters to network and dialogue about issues of joint concern. CHCI's Annual Gala breaks the $1 million mark.

2000

CHCI's first Issues Conference Public Policy Recommendations are published to provide Congress with a better understanding of the specific needs, concerns and interests of the Hispanic community. CHCI adds a corporate component to its Fellowship program to help increase the number of Hispanics in corporate America. CHCI's Annual Gala is moved from the Washington Hilton to the MCI Center to accommodate growth. The event breaks the $2 million mark.

2001

CHCI starts its Scholarship Awards Program to assist underprivileged Hispanic youth attain higher education. CHCI launches a youth component to its Web site, providing Hispanic youth with a forum to receive mentoring and attain current higher education and career information.

2002

CHCI celebrates its 25th anniversary as the nation's leading Hispanic educational organization. CHCI introduces the First Annual Reyes of Comedy Night as part of its week of events for Hispanic Heritage Month.

2003

CHCI moves into its new 8,000 square foot headquarters at 911 2nd Street, NE.

2005

CHCI's Public Policy Fellowship Program celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2006

CHCI Congressional Internship Program celebrates 20 years. CHCI introduces Graduate Fellows to its Public Policy Fellowship Program. CHCI honors its major donors by launching a Visionary Partner recognition level.

2007

CHCI celebrates its 30th anniversary of serving the Hispanic American community and providing opportunities for Latino youth. CHCI launches its Ready to Lead (R2L) high school program to help prepare students for college. CHCI sends its first fellows to Spain as part of its new International Fellowship Program. CHCI revenue breaks the $6 million mark.

2008

CHCI builds upon its success, expands its fellowship program by formally launching the Graduate & Young Professional Fellowship Program. CHCI launches its online application system for its programs, drawing interest from almost 10,000 students. CHCI Alumni Association celebrates its ten-year anniversary.

2009

CHCI launches new enhanced web site to serve students, parents, alumni, and supporters. CHCI welcomes Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as its first Legacy Partner.