Rock and Rock Hall of Famer and multi-Grammy-winning musician Carlos Santana and his wife, Deborah, received UCLA's Cesar E. Chavez Spirit Award at a special ceremony Wednesday, March 28, at UCLA's Faculty Center.
The prestigious award, named in honor of the late labor leader and civil-rights activist, honors individuals who embody the principals, goals and humanitarian qualities of Cesar Chavez. The Santanas were honored for their philanthropic efforts on behalf of the Milagro Foundation.
Established by the Santanas in 1998, the organization focuses on serving at-risk and disadvantaged youth through educational, arts and health programs. In its less than three-year existence, the Milagro Foundation has provided grants to more than 100 community-based organizations throughout the world. In addition to their work with the foundation, the Santanas have lent their support to numerous charitable causes, among them Blues for Salvador, Tijuana Orphans, Rights of Indigenous Peoples and San Francisco Earthquake Relief.
"We are honored to present this award to Carlos and Deborah because they truly represent the ideals that Cesar Chavez so passionately stood for, that of service to others," said Max Benavidez, event chair and assistant vice chancellor of University Communications. "Their endless pursuit for social change and the well-being of all youth reflects the spirit, vision and leadership of Chavez."
The "Cesar E. Chavez: A Legacy of Leadership" was established in 2000, the first Cesar E. Chavez Spirit Award was presented to actor/activist Martin Sheen, star of the hit NBC television series "West Wing."