September 1, 2000
Washington, DC- The Hispanic Heritage Awards foundation named the five recipients of its coveted Hispanic Heritage Awards. The announcement follows NBC's recent news to air the Hispanic Heritage Awards 2000 as a prime-time special on its entire network, for the first time this year.
Widely recognized as the most prestigious honor in the Hispanic
community, the Hispanic Heritage Awards honor individuals
have reached the pinnacle of their careers, achieving brilliant
personal success while contributing to the Hispanic community.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards honor individuals in five categories - the arts literature, leadership, education and sports. These individuals have reached the pinnacle of their careers, achieving brilliant personal success while contributing to the Hispanic community and our entire society.
The Millennium celebration of the Hispanic Heritage Awards will take place September 7, 2000 with a star-studded gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. NBC will air the event as a prime-time network special on September 9, 2000
The Hispanic Heritage Awards 2000 Honorees are: Oscar Hijuelos (New York, New York) for Literature - is the first American-born Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. With his award-winning novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Hijuelos has used his writing to explore the complex experience of Hispanic immigrants in America, thereby documenting their struggles and dreams.
Dolores Huerta (La Paz, California) for Leadership- is the co-founder of the first successful union of agricultural workers in the history of the United States. An activist and labor organizer, Huerta has been pivotal in the fight for equality - for farm workers, Latinos and women - for over half a century.
Anthony Quinn (Los Angeles, California) for the Arts- was one of the first Hispanic actors to become an international star. With a body of film and stage work that spans more than 60 years and over 300 films, this two-time Academy Award-winner has, throughout his career, chipped away at the barriers that kept ethnic actors from getting leading roles in Hollywood.
Cruz Reynoso (Los Angles, California) for Education- has been a zealous advocate for the poor, and disenfranchised. He was appointed by President Clinton and serves as vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Widely regarded as the nation's leading Latino legal figure, today he is a UCLA professor of law, encouraging a new generation of law students to continue the fight for positive change.
Samuel (Sammy) Peralta Sosa (Chicago, Illinois) for Sports- made baseball history in 1998 when he, along with Mark McGwire, broke roger Marris' 37 year-old record of 61 home runs in a single season. The talented outfielder has made an impact off the field by supporting various charities that help needy children in the Dominican republic where he grew up, and in the U.S. where he lives.
"Our Hispanic Heritage Awards Honorees are familiar faces to all Americans. As they gather together on one stage, we are reminded of the meaningful impact Hispanic-Americans. As they gather together on one stage, we are reminded of the meaningful impact Hispanic-Americans have on every aspect of American life. They have contributed a rich heritage, and all America is proud," stated Raul R. Tapia, chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation, in announcing the names of the Honorees.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation is credited with spearheading a growing recognition of Hispanic achievement in the U.S. through the Hispanic Heritage Awards, which over the last 14 years has grown into a major national event. While the star-studded Awards ceremony has been broadcast for the past four years on NBC television stations, this year, the special will air as a prime-time event on the entire NBC network, broadening the reach of the program to many more viewers nationwide, as it marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15).
The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established in 1987 to promote Hispanic excellence, provide a greater understanding of the contributions of Hispanic-Americans to the U.S., and to recognize role models who inspire our youth. Thirty-three national Hispanic co-host organizations serve as the Nominating Committee for the Hispanic Heritage Awards. As such, they work closely with the Foundation to identify Hispanic leaders and achievers in their communities and to bring them to the attention of the National Selection Committee.