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CHCI To Honor Internationally Acclaimed Figures Isabel Allende and José Andrés at 43rd Annual Awards Gala during Hispanic Heritage Month

Washington, D.C. – August 18, 2020 – Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) proudly announces the 2020 Medallion of Excellence Honorees—Isabel Allende and José Andrés. They will be recognized at the CHCI 43rd Annual Awards Gala to be held in an all-virtual setting on September 21, 2020, 6:00-8:00 pm (EDT). The theme of the Gala is Our Voice, Nuestro Poder, and during the event CHCI will also pay tribute to the Hispanic Caucus Members in Congress and emerging leaders in CHCI’s leadership programs. Attendance is free but registration is required at  Bank of America is the host sponsor of the Awards Gala.

“We are honoring two remarkable individuals who through their legacy of work and commitment to the Latino community and people around the world, embody CHCI’s core principles,” said CHCI Chair Rep. Ruben Gallego, (AZ-7). Award winning and internationally acclaimed novelist Isabel Allende’s passionate and compelling storytelling reminds us of the brilliance and creativity of the Latino community. José Andrés is an internationally recognized culinary innovator and celebrated global humanitarian who gives selflessly to those in need. We are proud to celebrate and recognize these visionaries at our 43rd Annual Awards Gala during Hispanic Heritage Month.”

The Medallion of Excellence Award is CHCI’s highest accolade and one of the most prestigious honors in the Latino community. The award is bestowed annually upon individuals who are Hispanic American role models and whose extraordinary careers, civic leadership, and service contribute to the greater American society.

Isabel Allende is the recipient of the 2020 Medallion of Excellence in the Arts, Entertainment, Media, Music or Sports Award. Chilean born in Peru, Allende’s best-known works include the novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. She has written over 20 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold more than 67 million copies. Allende has received 15 honorary doctorates, including one from Harvard University, was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, received the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.

“I am honored to be awarded a Medal of Excellence from CHCI, which I receive on behalf of millions of Latinx who contribute to the greatness of this country and those who are heroes in the frontline of this pandemic,” said Allende.

José Andrés is the recipient of the 2020 American Dream Medallion in Education, Science, Medicine or Civil Rights Award. Twice named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list and recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal, Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, humanitarian, and chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup, a collective of nearly thirty restaurants throughout the country and beyond. In 2010, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen, a non-profit specializing in delivering food relief in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCK has partnered with restaurants, small farms, and federal and state governments around the country to combat food insecurity.

“I am honored to receive CHCI’s 2020 American Dream Medallion, which I accept on behalf of all of the women and men of World Central Kitchen working tirelessly to keep our communities fed,” said Andrés

“We are proud to honor Isabel Allende and José Andrés for their dedication and tireless efforts to uplift the Latino community, and nourish all people’s bodies and souls. Their visionary leadership and extraordinary careers embody the sentiment of what our Gala theme, Our Voice, Nuestro Poder can achieve. They are exemplary role models for generations to come,” said Marco A. Davis, CHCI President and CEO.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) is the premier Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization in the country dedicated to developing the next generation of Latino leaders®. CHCI provides leadership, public service, and policy experiences to outstanding Latino/a/x students and young professionals, and convenes Members of Congress and other public officials, corporate executives, nonprofit advocates, and thought leaders to discuss issues facing the nation and the Hispanic community. Visit and follow us @CHCI on social media.


Media Contact:

Maria Ibañez,