The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) will honor CHCI alumnus Orson Aguilar, executive director at the Greenlining Institute, and Hollywood writer/director Chris Weitz at its Closing Luncheon on education during the 2011 CHCI Public Policy Conference on September 13 at the Washington Convention Center.
Aguilar will be presented with the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Medallion of Excellence Award, and Weitz will be honored with CHCI’s 2011 Excellence in Service Award.
Orson Aguilar is part of the new wave of civil rights and community leaders focused on ensuring that the American dream remains accessible to all Americans. In his role as executive director of The Greenlining Institute, Aguilar advocates for communities of color on issues such as the environment, community reinvestment, philanthropy and leadership development. Aguilar works to make positive social change and continues to be a role model for future CHCI Alumni.
In honor of his excellence in filmmaking, his work to give voice to the Latino American dream and his efforts to create positive change through the arts, writer/director Chris Weitz will receive CHCI’s Excellence in Service Award. Chris Weitz most recently directed “A Better Life,” a multi-generational immigrant story about a father’s love and everything a parent will sacrifice to build a better life for his child, which Summit Entertainment released on June 24, 2011.
“We look forward to honoring two extremely deserving individuals in Orson Aguilar and Chris Weitz on September 13,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. “Orson represents the next generation of American leadership and we are proud of what he has accomplished since his CHCI Fellowship in 1996-1997. Chris Weitz’s distinguished career in Hollywood is bested only by his commitment to shedding light on the immigrant story and creating awareness of the American dream story so many in our community live every day.”
After the closing luncheon, attendees are invited to take part in a special screening of “A Better Life” and take part in a question and answer discussion with Chris Weitz.
After the awards presentations, Reps. Raul Grijalva and Nydia M. Velazquez will host a high-level discussion on education. This session will engage experts in a dialogue on how to increase Latino education attainment, which is imperative to reach the national goal of 60 percent higher education attainment by 2025. The session will also feature Allan Golston, president of U.S. Programs at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To read the honorees’ full bios or to register for the Public Policy Conference, please visit www.chci.org.