Latino Awards kickoff National Hispanic Heritage Month
On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Denver Public Library kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring four Latinos for their leadership and service at the library’s annual Latino Community Service Awards, held at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library.
“The Denver Public Library is proud to honor and celebrate these outstanding community members who have made such a positive impact on the Latino community in Denver and beyond. Their work and service build strong connections between Denver and the rest of the world,” said City Librarian Michelle Jeske.
Michele Trujillo, EdD, received the Lena L. Archuleta Community Service Award for her lifelong work in education, focusing on culturally- and linguistically-diverse students in rural schools. She serves as the director of the Antonio Homeschool Consortium under the nonprofit organization Conejos Clean Water. She is concerned with social and environmental justice issues of the rural communities in the San Luis Valley.
Anthony R. Aragon received the Eric J. Duran Community Service Award. He currently serves as part of the City’s Community Affairs team in the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and focuses on community outreach and engagement in the LGBTQ and Latino/a communities. He previously managed more than 130 different civic boards and commissions when he was director of boards and commissions for the city. He has worked for former Mayor Federico Peña, Governor Roy Romer and Ambassador Swanee Hunt.
The library inducted two members into the César Chávez Leadership Hall of Fame. Renee Fajardo, JD, is a cultural activist who has spent the past 30 years preserving and promoting the Latino/Mestizo culture of Colorado through her work as a storyteller and writer. She has co-authored numerous books that preserve family food traditions and is the co-founder of the Return of the Corn Mothers project, a national traveling exhibit that highlights women’s stories from the southwest. She currently serves as the director of the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Journey Through our Heritage program, mentoring students of color.
Carlos Santistevan is a talented santero—an artist who keeps alive the traditional holy pictures, retables and statues of saints and holy occurrences. His works are part of the permanent collection of Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos and the Regis University Library Santo Collection in Denver. He helped develop the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council and served as its first executive director and also was the first Latino artist to serve on the board of the Denver Art Museum.
The Latino Community Awards Ceremony is graciously sponsored by Swinerton.
About the Awards
The Lena L. Archuleta Community Service Award recipient must be a female Colorado resident of Latino descent who has taken an active role in the community, above and beyond paid employment. The recipient will have made an impact on the cultural life of the community through her involvement with the Denver Public Library or another civic institution. Members of the general community, including those affiliated with the library may be considered for the award. The nominee must be living.
The Eric J. Duran Community Service Award recipient must be a male Colorado resident of Latino descent who has taken an active role in the community, above and beyond paid employment. The recipient will have made an impact on the cultural life of the community through his involvement with the Denver Public Library or another civic institution. Members of the general community, including those affiliated with the library may be considered for the award. The nominee must be living.
The César Chávez Latino Leadership Hall of Fame Award celebrates the induction of two individuals (one male and one female) into the César Chávez Leadership Hall of Fame. The recipients will be Coloradans of Latino descent who have made a major contribution in a particular field which positively impacted the community. The nominee must be living.