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2002 Mujer Award Recipients


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NATIONAL MUJER AWARD

Cristina Saralegui, a 30 year veteran journalist of Spanish language media was born in Cuba and she became an integral part of the Cuban exile community in Miami. While attending University of Miami where she majored in mass communication and creative writing, she worked with Vanidades, the #1 woman's magazine in Latin America. In 1979, the Heart's Spanish language version of Cosmopolitan magazine, Cosmopolitan en Español, named her the editor-in chief

In 1989, she ventured into the world of talk show television with the premier of The Cristina Show. It is currently the #1 talkshow on Spanish-language television with an estimated audience of 100 million viewers worldwide. "My TV program deals primarily with family issues, essentially holding a mirror p to the Hispanic community. Since the beginning we have dealt with every subject that impacts the Hispanic family including AIDS awareness, education, domestic violence, interpersonal relations, teen pregnancy, to name a few."

She has expanded upon the success of The Cristina Show in a variety of ways. She co-publishes a monthly magazine, Cristina La Revista that features well known and respected Latinos who, by revealing their formula for success, hope to inspire others to be come successful. She hosts a daily radio program entitled Cristina Opina airing on Radio Unica, the only national 24-hour Spanish-language talk radio network. It also airs throughout Latin America. In October, 1998 she launched www.cristinaonline.com, a bilingual website that provides access to all of the subsidiaries under the Cristina Saralegui Enterprises.Inc. umbrella.

Concerned with the impact of AIDS ON the Hispanic community, in 1996 Cristina and her husband, Marcos Davila established the Arriba la Vida/Up with Life Foundation that provides AIDS awarness and education among Hispanics. Cristina was been honored by AmFar for her commitment as an AIDS activist in 1997 with a Gala that raised over half a million dollars for AIDS research.

She is also involved with the Civitas Foundation a non-profit communications organization that creates tools that help educate and support the community of adults who take care of young children. On May 1, 2000, Civitas Initiative released a special video for parents of virtually every new baby born in the U.S. "Begin with Love/Empieza con Amor. More than 3.6 million videotapes will be distributed free over the next year through The Parenting Group’s First Moments, Inc. new parents kit, an in-hospital distribution system.

Cristina is also listed in numerous biographical references including "Who's Who in Professional and Executive Women" and 'The Top 100 Hispanic Influential People in the U.S." The National Council of La Raza/Kraft Foods ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Community Service Award for 2000 was presented to Cristina for her exceptional work in heightening the awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. The Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) presented Cristina with the 2001 Gracie Allen Tribute Award in New York City. This prestigious award is bestowed on an individual with proven commitment to the advancement of women in electronic media.

The Museum of Television and Radio recognized "The Cristina Show", during their 19th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. This event marks the first time a Spanish-language program was included in the Festival.

In 2002, the Imagen Foundation, a non-profit organization whose dedication is to increase Latino representation in the entertainment industry presented Cristina with the "Life Time Achievement Award". The Imagen Awards’ recognizes and encourages the television, film and advertising industries to portray Latino actors and production storylines in a positive and accurate manner.

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REGIONAL MUJER AWARD

Sonia Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Carlos Rosario International Career Center and Public Charter School in Washington, DC is NHLI's 2002 Regional Mujer Awardee. For the past 30 years, Ms. Gutierrez has proved her indispensable committment to the growth and development of a program dedicated to the English language needs of the Hispanic community of Washington, DC. Under her administration, a small underfunded English as a Second Language program began with 100 students had grown into the Carlos Rosario Adult Education Center, a facility that housed over 2,400 students with a waiting list of over 2,000 and had a faculty and staff of over 100.

In 1996, the District of Columbia closed the Center and Mrs. Gutierrez retired from the DC Public School System with a vow to rebuild the Center. She established the Carlos Rosario International Career Center as a nonprofit organization. Working out of the basement of her home, she raised $100,000 from foundations to reopen the school. The new Carlos Rosario International Career Center openened its doors in April, 1997. Mrs. Gutierrez raised over 1/2 million dollars and served over 600 students. In 1998, the Center became the first adult education charter school in the nation with an initial enrollment of 1,300 studenta and a waiting list of over 500. With a budget of over $2 million, the Center has a partnership with the National Council of La Raza and Ayuda to purchase a new building for the school.

Ms. Gutierrez has played a pre-eminent role in the social, poitical and economic development of the Hispanic community in the District. She was the founding president of the Council of Latino Agencies; President of the Latino Festival (1975); Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Latino Festival (1993); one of the founders of the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs; President of the Metropolitan DC Association of Adult and Continuing Education; and a Commissioner on the DC Commission for Women and the Latino Community Development Commission.

Her efforts were recognized not only by the immigrant community that she has served, but also by all the citizens of the District of Columbia when she was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1987. She has been inducted into the Washington Women's Hall of Fame. In 1997 Ms. Gutierrez received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Ibero-American Chamber of Commerce and in 1998 the "The Latino Hero of the Year: from Nuestra Gente: U.S. Latinos organization.

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