News release

Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and World Central Kitchen Honored at the 2018 UnidosUS Capital Awards

March 22, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) presented Representatives Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R–FL) with the Lifetime Achievement Award during an evening gala celebrating the 31st Annual UnidosUS Capital Awards. The event recognizes bipartisan leaders who have championed policies and legislation to empower and strengthen the Latino community.

“Since he was first elected in 1992, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez has shown an unwavering commitment to elevating the needs and voices of Latino and immigrant communities. Whether on the House floor advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, health care or equitable educational opportunities, or leading marches in front of the Capitol, he has been a true voice and leader for our community. Luis has never been one to wait for others to take up a cause and it’s this tenacious spirit and unrelenting drive to help the community that will be so missed,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is also set to retire at the end of her term, was also honored. “Ileana has been a trailblazer in so many ways. From her remarkable start as the first Latina to serve in the Florida State House of Representatives, the Florida Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, to her championing of legislation, Ros-Lehtinen is no stranger to toppling barriers. She has been instrumental in the fight for fair immigration reform, on issues related to the environment, gender equality and veteran’s affairs, among so many others. Ileana has always stood up for what she felt was in the best interests of her community despite political pressure. Her independent spirit will be sorely missed in the halls of Congress,” Murguía added.

UnidosUS presented its Public Service Award to World Central Kitchen, an organization founded by Chef José Andrés in 2010 after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Since its founding, World Central Kitchen has leveraged its Chef Network to help implement effective strategies to combat world hunger and poverty. And in recent months, the organization has been actively involved in Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts, helping deliver 3.4 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria.

“If you want to get things done, don’t look further than Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen. Since Hurricane Maria, World Central Kitchen has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of Puerto Rican families, many of whom were unable to meet even their most basic food needs. José Andrés personifies what it is to be a true humanitarian and a person of action. We are so pleased we could honor the great work he and World Central Kitchen are doing to alleviate poverty in different corners of the world,” Murguía said.

Erika Gonzalez, anchor at NBC4 Washington, served as mistress of ceremonies at the gala, which took place at the National Building Museum. Wells Fargo served as the event Chair for the 2018 Capital Awards. Vice Chairs included Univision Communications Inc., UPS, and Verizon.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Gabriela Gomez
ggomez@unidosus.org
(202) 776-1732