Hispanic Federation (HF), the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization, celebrated its Annual Spring Gala, “Rising Stronger,” at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The Federation’s all-star event raised $2.3 million, smashing previous gala records, while paying tribute to a vast array of amazing individuals and institutions.
Gala Chair Lin-Manuel Miranda presented this year’s Humanitarian Award to Ricky Martinin recognition of his work to end human trafficking and rebuild Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria. Actor and salsa legend Ruben Blades, Ana Villafañe (star of the Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet!), and Anthony Ramos (Will and Grace and the original Broadway cast of Hamilton) graced the stage at this year’s event. Joining them to say “¡presente!” was actress Luna Lauren Velez, former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, soccer star David Villa, and Grammy and Latin Grammy award winner Tommy Torres.
“Tonight was a night to celebrate our special community — a collective that together shares dreams and lifts up millions of lives across our nation and beyond,” said Jose Calderon, president of the Hispanic Federation. “Our benefit gala paid tribute and recognized the work and impact of spectacular institutions and organizations, including 900 community and business leaders who were our guests this evening. By standing up for a fair, just and inclusive America, they are making sure we rise stronger than ever before.”
The institutions and organizations celebrated tonight included Comcast/NBCUniversal/Telemundo, which tirelessly supports the Hispanic Federation’s mission; Atlantic Records for their advocacy through music and commitment to social causes, and the Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition, a multi-ethnic alliance of organizations from across the U.S., for their work to defend and protect vulnerable immigrant populations.
Ricky Martin received this year’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work to end human trafficking and rebuild Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria. In addition, the Federation was proud to announce the launch of a partnership with the Ricky Martin Foundation to rebuild homes in the town of Loiza through a $250,000 matching grant, which combined equals a total social investment of $500,000 for recovery efforts.
“I am honored to receive the Humanitarian Achievement Award from the Hispanic Federation,” said Ricky Martin. “Our social work fuels from the courage, optimism, and resiliency of our people. At the Ricky Martin Foundation, we are more than grateful to the Hispanic Federation for joining our fight to end modern day slavery. Empowering communities to create a world free of human trafficking is vital for social justice. Moreover, we are grateful for your actions. Your solidarity with my beloved Island will translate into restructuring and rebuilding homes in Loíza. A home symbolizes hope and protection”.
“Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo is honored to receive the Hispanic Federation’s 2018 Corporate Leadership Award,” said Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “Hispanics are a social, political and economic powerhouse influencing every aspect of the American society. We look forward to continuing our work with the Hispanic Federation to provide greater opportunities and empower Hispanics today and for generations to come.”
“The power of the Hispanic music community to raise awareness and inspire change is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald. “Now more than ever, when the critical issues of immigration, diversity, and inclusion are at the heart of our national conversation about what it means to be an American in the 21stcentury, the Hispanic Federation is doing essential and powerful work. All of us at Atlantic Records are proud to receive the Advocacy Through Music Award. First and foremost, this honor belongs to our amazing artists, especially the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda, who are using their creativity and their art to make a real difference in the lives and culture of the Hispanic people.”
“The Immigrants We Get the Job Done Coalition is honored to receive Hispanic Federation’s Community Service Award,” said Aarti Kohi, Oscar Chacon and Marleine Bastien. “Every day, our organizations strive to serve and uplift our immigrant brothers and sisters. Together, our organizations represent millions of immigrants of all nationalities across our nation. Among the incredibly diverse cultures we represent, there is always one strong underlying commonality — the importance of family. Immigrants come to this country fleeing war, poverty and violence so their families can have the chance at a better life. We are fortunate to work with our members and clients and support them in keeping their families resilient, healthy and unified. On behalf of our agencies and all those that we serve, we graciously accept this award.
“Morgan Stanley is honored to continue supporting the work of the Hispanic Federation,” said Tom Nides, Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley. “For nearly two decades, we have supported the mission of the Hispanic Federation, and their work promoting diversity of ideas and backgrounds is more important today than ever.”