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Diamante Awards to celebrate 25th anniversary
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent


The Diamante Awards will celebrate its 25th anniversary in style on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, starting at 6 p.m., at the Premier Banquet Hall, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd., during Hispanic Heritage Month, , which is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.


The University of Toledo will host this year’s awards, which provide scholarship funds and honor individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the Latino community of Northwest Ohio.

“The Diamante Awards has always been for and by the community,” said Margarita De León, who has served on the Diamante organizing committee since its inception in 1990.


“Like any other community effort, we struggled over the years and insisted on the importance of education and the importance of the contributions of many of our Latino leaders, advocates and partners. We didn’t always get it right, but we had and continue to have the community's best interest at heart. We know that there are many people in the community who have and continue to make contributions selflessly and without recognition. I applaud them. Everyone matters.” 


To celebrate the milestone anniversary, Ms. Juana Bordas, winner of the 2014 International Latino Book Award and the 2014 Nautilus Gold Book Award for her work The Power of Latino Leadership, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. A book-signing will be held as part of the celebration.


Ms. Bordas emigrated from Nicaragua when she was three years old. She was the first in her family to go to college and then served in the Peace Corps in Chile. Juana is a founder of Mi Casa Resource Center in Denver and the founding President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute.

Ms. Bordas is the current president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company that focuses on diversity, leadership and organizational change. Her book Salsa, Soul and Spirit–Leadership for a Multicultural Age won the 2008 International Latino Book Award for leadership. She was initiated into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and received the Franklin Miller Award from the U.S. Peace Corps for her life-long commitment to serving communities of color.

Ms. Juana Bordas


Marcos Popovich, a Toledo native and former Diamante Award winner, now working as the Education Fellow for the Barr Foundation in Boston, will return to his hometown to serve as the evening’s emcee.


A reception featuring appetizers, a cash bar, and silent auction will kick off the evening at 6 p.m. The UT Latin Jazz Ensemble will provide pre-dinner entertainment. D.J. Christian Rosales will provide post-event entertainment during the book signing and wrap-up of the silent auction.


The Diamante Awards is a partnership between UT, Bowling Green State University, Lourdes University, Owens Community College, and Herzing University to provide scholarships to deserving Latino college students from across the region. Lourdes University hosted last year’s scholarship dinner.


All five sitting presidents of the universities will be in attendance for the 25th anniversary gala—  Dr. Nagi Naganathan, interim president, The University of Toledo; Dr. David Livingston, president, Lourdes University; Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey, president, Bowling Green State University; Dr. Mike Bower, president, Owens Community College; and Bill Cassidy, campus president, Herzing University-Toledo.


“Several years ago we developed a partnership with the universities to help sustain, stabilize and grow the program,” said Ms. De León. “As a result, all five university partners now have Latino endowments, some of them larger than others depending on how long they have been associated with the effort. Several of our partners have more than one Latino endowment thanks to our corporate partners over the years.”


According to Ms. DeLeón, to date, more than $1 million worth of scholarships have been awarded to Latino students in the region and 133 Community Service Diamante Awards have been presented.


“We should all be very proud of these accomplishments,” she said.


Diamante Awards are given in the following categories:

Latino/Latina Youth Leadership, which recognizes a young person of Latino descent, between the ages of 16 and 21, who has made an impact within Northwest Ohio.

Latino/Latina Adult Leadership, which recognizes an adult of Latino descent, older than 21, who has demonstrated significant leadership in any area in Northwest Ohio.

Latino/Latina Adult Professional, which recognizes the contributions from    professionals of Latino descent making a significant impact in his or her workplace or profession.

Corporation/Community Agency, which recognizes an entity for supporting    and making an impact within the Northwest Ohio community.

Friend of the Latino Community, which recognizes the contribution of an individual, of non-Latino descent, who is making an impact on the Latino community in Northwest Ohio.


Tickets are $100 per person in advance and $125 at the door. Student tickets are priced at $35 each or $50 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.diamante.org. For additional information, patrons can contact UT’s Office of Special Events at 419.530.2200 or email [email protected]

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/09/14 17:24:06 -0700.




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