This week, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation announced the recipients of this year's Award for Leadership, which will be presented at the Hispanic Heritage Awards this fall. The four recipients are Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA; Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of the YWCA USA; Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters; and Mónica Ramírez, co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas and founder of Justice for Migrant Women. “As Latinos, we collectively turn to our Latina leaders to move our community and country forward by transforming the lives of millions upon millions of women and girls through these quintessential American organizations and others they have created to fill needs in our community,” Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the HHF, said in a statement.“These four leaders truly represent the important role Latinas play in our community.”
All four of the women - who'll be joining past honorees like Celia Cruz, America Ferrera, Isabel Allende, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor - have extremely impressive resumes. Prior to becoming CEO of the Girl Scouts in 2017, Acevedo worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a rocket scientist, then worked for Apple, IBM and Dell as an engineer. Castillo, who has been CEO of the YWCA since 2017, worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and under President Obama was the first Latina director of the Minority Business Development Agency. Kase has been fighting for social justice since her early 20s, and prior to working at the League of Women Voters, she served as the chief operating officer at CASA, an immigrant rights organization.
Ramírez may be familiar to CHICA readers as one of the leaders who inspired the Time's Up movement. A longtime activist and organizer, she recently helped gather participation for the Latinx letter of solidarity signed by more than 150 actors and writers. She is the president of Justice for Migrant Women and the gender justice campaigns director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Other recipients of Hispanic Heritage Awards this year include actor Eugenio Derbez and boxer Canelo Álvarez. The ceremony will take place October 1.
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