what are we doing for others? Let’s work together to honor César Chávez,” challenged Roman.
Healthcare professional Dr. Mark Solano, MD, a past CCPJC award recipient, also shared his sentiment in the greater good of organizing, but also stressed the need for basic healthcare. “Our healthcare is an atrocity in this country,” expressed Solano. “And there is a need for justice, farm workers should not have to be poisoned by the crops in the field they are working.”
Dr. Solano presented Raul Chávez with the Male Leadership Award for his humanitarian achievements. The humble Chávez offered few words, but requested a moment of silence in honor of César Chávez. Upon receiving the award Chávez, was embraced by family with heartfelt abrazos and pride.
María "Dora" Esquibel was this year’s Female Leadership Award honoree, accompanied by her family, the Elder offered a glimpse into her past and her struggles as an activist. “This award is for my family and friends, thank you for being there for me,” said Esquibel, and offering praise for former UMAS students, and her attorney.
She added, “The lawyer who helped get me out of prison – that lawyer is Ken Padilla. He knew they were setting me up.”
Esquibel explained she was told she could possibly be detained in jail for at least three months awaiting her fate. “It took eight days,” she said for Padilla to free her from jail. “‘You’re free, go home’ he said.”
Through her extraordinary experiences and wisdom, Esquibel offered advice explaining, “Only together can we unite the battle. It has always been this way. The only way to be is together and for those who don’t want to be [together] – then get out of our way.”
Denver’s talented Café Cultura received accolades receiving the Organization Leadership Award for their
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SC: Why did you call your memoir "The General"?
AE: Because I was one of a limited number of prisoners at Guantanamo who spoke English, I was often forced to be an "unofficial leader" by guards and interrogators. They nicknamed me "the general."
SC: How were you released?
AE: I was released ...
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