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CHCI Celebrates Annual Leadership Conference & 40th Anniversary Awards Gala

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) proudly convened a diverse group of nearly 2,000 national thought leaders, including Congressional members, national community influencers, corporate executives and young aspiring Latino leaders to engage in meaningful discourse about critical issues that impact the U.S. Latino community.

Over 900 attendees enjoyed interactive sessions and the opportunity to network with industry experts at our annual CHCI Leadership Conference, held at the Ronald Reagan Building September 11 and 12.

CHCI also celebrated the outstanding contributions of American heroes during our 40th Anniversary Awards Gala on September 13th, whose genius, coupled with their civic leadership enhance the collective American experience.

Congressman and CHCI Chair, Joaquin Castro and the Honorable Henry Cisneros helped kick-off the Hispanic Heritage Month events during the conference, under the theme – Transformative Change: Innovate, Lead and Inspire.

Participants had various opportunities to actively engage and participate in conversations during panels such as “Modern Activism: Organizing for Social Justice Through Social Media & Technology” and “Immigrants are Assets Who Reinforce and Reinvent the American Dream” thanks to new interactive technology that allowed for real-time polling and feedback. Throughout the 2-day conference, sessions included executives from corporations (including: FacebookNielsenPlanned ParenthoodNational Education Association, and United Food and Commercial Workers) as well as members of Congress and notable speakers and influencers such as author, actor, and veteran, J.R. Martinez, and actor Danny Trejo.

Thanks to the generous support of JPMorgan Chase, the American Beverage Association, and Comcast, the CHCI Alumni Association Reception Honoring Chief of Staff, recognized exemplary leadership and commitment to CHCI’s programs. Matthew Klapper, Amy C. Emerick, and Dominic Gabello were honored during the Chief of Staff reception hosted by our partner Toyota .

During the Arts & Culture Reception, host sponsor, Google, introduced Latino Cultures in the U.S., one of the largest digital collections of U.S. Latino art, culture, and history ever curated online. The Arts & Culture Reception, also sponsored by The Walton Family Foundation and Crown Imports, served as the cultural kick-off to a month-long, national celebration of the richness and diversity of our heritage. This reception, which took place on Monday September 11th, honored the brave men and women of the military, first responders, and veterans who have served and continue to serve our country.

The following evening, “An Evening with Women Trailblazers” sponsored by AppleT-MobileComcast, and Mary Kay, brought together unique perspectives of female leaders from diverse backgrounds who shared life lessons on becoming a woman trailblazer both in the business and political arena.

Officially hosting the CHCI 40th Anniversary Awards Gala, thanks to the support of Bank of America, were radio personality Enrique Santos and actors Jackie Cruz and J.W. Cortes. CHCI President and CEO, Domenika Lynch, delivered the opening remarks and welcomed CHCI Alumna and DACA recipient Claudia Flores to the stage to share her inspiring story.

The night’s special guests, CHCI 2017 Chair Award Recipient internationally renowned author Sandra Cisneros along with CHCI 2017 Medallion of Excellence honorees, President and CEO of AltaMed, Cástulo de la Rocha and award-winning composer, lyricist, performer Lin Manuel Miranda, all shared powerful words of persistence, unity and empowerment.



Congressional Members and National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Leaders also took the stage in solidarity to share aspiring remarks during this critical time for the Latino community and Paulina Rubio, la chica dorada, closed the magnificent celebration as the PEPSICO entertainment finale giving a fierce #TBT performance with “Yo No Soy Esa Mujer”, “Ni Una Sola Palabra” and more.

For additional content and images of the 2017 CHCI Hispanic Heritage Month events, check out our Facebook!