CHCI’s Alumni Association Empowers Future Latino Leaders with “A Conversation with Junot Díaz”
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The CHCI Alumni Association fundraiser with Junot Díaz, held on Friday, May 17 at Google, proved to be a success, supporting CHCI’s work to provide Latino students educational and leadership opportunities. The event raised money for CHCI’s Latino Leadership Programs and engaged attendees in a stimulating hour and a half-long conversation with the Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Just prior to the start of the program, six students from the El Haynes Public Charter School in D.C. had the unique experience of having a one-on-one with Díaz, exploring the intricacies of his writing and life experiences. Not long after, guests congregated around the main stage where CHCI’s President & CEO Esther Aguilera moderated a brief Q&A with the author before opening the discussion to the audience. Junot Díaz emigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic as a child and has received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious MacArthur “Genius Grant” award in 2012.
“This event was a great opportunity to meet one of the most impressive writers of our time,” said Luis Campillo, CHCI Alumni Association president. “Many CHCI program participants relate to Díaz’ background, so it’s inspiring to see the universal appeal his writings have garnered and the impact they are making in world literature. I appreciate Junot’s support of CHCI and the CHCI Alumni Association as we work to support and empower greater numbers of Latino youth.”
“Ours is a brilliant vibrant community and to support our youth is to support the future geniuses of our nation and of our world. This is exactly the work CHCI engages in and why CHCI is so important, so beautiful, so necessary,” said Junot Díaz.
CHCI’s Latino leadership programs create a pipeline of talent that strengthens America’s workforce. Offering paid two-three month internships and nine-month fellowships, CHCI exposes participants to the inner workings of Washington, D.C. and opens the halls of Congress and other Washington D.C. placements for Latino students and graduates. Many of the fellows and interns are the first in their families to go to college.
“In addition to his success as a writer, Junot Díaz emphasizes giving back to the community,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI president and CEO. “His work to provide education and opportunities to everyone, regardless of their background, further illustrates the need for groups like CHCI to continue bridging the gap in our community so Latinos reach their full potential.”
About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org.
Scott Gunderson Rosa: (202) 548-5876