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MALDEF 35th Annual Los Angeles Awards

On Thursday, November 12, 2009, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) will host the 35th Annual Los Angeles Awards Gala to recognize civic leaders and corporate citizens for their extraordinary achievement in promoting and protecting the civil rights of the Latino community. 
Eva Longoria Parker will be honored with the Community Service Award for her commitment to Latino civil rights and activism.  Ms. Longoria Parker is the founder of Eva’s Heroes, a charity that helps developmentally disabled children.  For years, she has been a supporter and top charitable contributor to several Latino and civil rights organizations around the country, such as the United Farm Workers of America and the Dolores Huerta Foundation.  She is an executive producer of Shine Global Inc.’s upcoming documentary, The Harvest, which sheds light on the exploitation of 500,000 child migrant farm workers in the United States.  She is a dedicated supporter of many other organizations, including PADRES Contra el Cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Most recently, Ms. Longoria Parker was appointed to the National Museum of the American Latino Commission which will study the potential creation of a national museum in Washington, D.C. dedicated to portraying the art, culture, and history of the Latino Community in the United States.
Special guest presenters will include Antonia Hernandez, Dolores Huerta, José José, Keisha Whitaker, Lupe Ontiveros and many more.  A special performance will be given by Nydia Rojas, and Giselle Fernandez will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.  Amid the festivities MALDEF will also celebrate the return of Thomas A. Saenz to MALDEF in his new role as President and General Counsel.     
“For over 40 years, MALDEF has served as the law firm for the Latino community, safeguarding the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States and encouraging their full participation in the American democratic process.  It gives me great pleasure to celebrate this tremendous milestone in the organization’s history by honoring individuals who exemplify our mission,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel.
Anthony Solana Jr. will receive the Excellence in Legal Service Award.  As a founding member of the National Latina/o Law Student Association, and Chairperson of the Equal Justice Society and For People of Color, Inc., Solana has been an advocate for the diversification of the legal profession, opening the doors for more lawyers.
Dr. Rodolfo Acuña will be honored with the MALDEF Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr.  Acuña is a pioneering Latino scholar whose many works on the U.S. Latino experience have made him a leading voice in our nation’s Latino movement.  As Professor of Chicano Studies at California State University at Northridge, Dr. Acuña also directs his time and energy to building our community’s future leaders.
Anheuser Busch Companies will be recognized with the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for their dedication to the Latino community’s future. For the past three decades, Anheuser Busch has been the largest corporate contributor in fund-raising efforts for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).  Since its inception, HSF has raised more than $23 million and awarded more than 18,000 scholarships to Latino students nationwide.



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