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Baldemar Velásquez honored by Adelante

 

Baldemar Velásquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), was honored last Friday at Adelante’s third annual César Chávez Humanitarian Awards Banquet, held this year at the Dana Center on the Medical University of Ohio’s Campus in Toledo.

 

Baldemar and Danny Contreras

This year’s Chávez Award nominees included José Luna (Bilingual Education and Related Programs Coordinator of the Toledo Public Schools), Amelia Nava (Community Volunteer), and Richard Neller (La Prensa).

 

Velásquez gave an inspiring speech about the struggles of FLOC the past 38 years, emphasizing that the struggles were not over with in light of needed immigration reform and the dangers of bill HR 4437, which passed the House last December.

 

Velásquez urged that concerned citizens should contact their respective U.S. Senators to urge them to vote for the McCain-Kennedy Bill, which was recently adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 12 to 6 vote and may be voted on by the Senate in full, possibly as early as Friday, April 7th.

 

Adelante’s director, Sonia Troche, welcomed the audience after the full house was entertained by an area folkloric dance group, Imagenes Mexicanas.

 

Opening remarks were made by Adelante Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Ardenia Jones Terry and Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president of MUO and soon-to-be president of the University of Toledo, when UT’s merger with MUO becomes effective on July 1, 2006.

 

Pastor David Martínez of Cornerstone Church gave the evening’s invocation. 

 

In addition to the presentation of the Chávez Humanitarian Award to Velásquez, ten students were recognized for their outstanding contributions as Latino Youth. An Adelante Amigo Award was presented to Neller for contributions to the community.  

 

A documentary video, prepared by Adelante’s Alex Ramírez, showed much of the history of Adelante. Robert Torres, director of Toledo’s Office of Latino Affairs, and Lisa Olvera were the MCs. 

 

 

Adelante director Sonia Troche welcomes Ezra Escudero, director of OCHLA

 

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