The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced today that the community of immigrants known as “Dreamers” will be recognized as recipients of the Inspira Award at the 30th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards on September 14th at the historic Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The Awards, which were created by the White House in 1988 to commemorate the establishment of Hispanic Heritage Month in America, are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and supported by 40 national Hispanic-serving institutions that co-host the program. Dreamers represent approximately 1.3 million undocumented youth including 800,000 DACA recipients. The Inspira Award was created to honor Latino role models and as sources of inspiration. Past Inspira Award recipients have included Becky G, Prince Royce, America Ferrera, among others.
“We are proud to honor the ‘Dreamers’ for their collective strength, hope and grace as young Latino leaders,” said José Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “They represent the spirit of perseverance and ganas every single day as they remain poised to make a positive impact on our country through the workforce, community service and economic impact.”
Dreamers are undocumented youth living in the United States having arrived through no action of their own and before turning 16 and having lived in America continuously since June of 2007 – ranging in age between 15-35. Most Dreamers are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with the biggest numbers of Dreamers living in California, Texas, Florida and New York.
Dreamers are projected to represent more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in economic growth, $280 billion, over the next decade and pay over two billion dollars in taxes. A recent survey found that 95 percent of all Dreamers are currently working or in school. More than half of Dreamers have bought their first car, 12 percent bought their first homes and five percent started their own businesses.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards will also include top Latino performers and personalities paying tribute to the Honorees from the stage. The Awards recognize the contributions and accomplishments of leading Latino individuals and organizations in various fields while celebrating cultural pride and the great promise to America. The Hispanic Heritage Awards are unique in that educators, physicians, innovators, businesspersons, community leaders, and elected officials stand alongside celebrities and great artists in representing the great value Latinos provide the United States and the globe. Past Honorees have included Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Oscar Hijuelos, Juan Luis Guerra, Ana Gabriel, Rita Moreno, Plácido Domingo, Junot Díaz, Celia Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Tito Puente, Anthony Quinn, Juan Marichal, Los Tigres Del Norte, José Feliciano, Isabel Allende, Pedro Martinez, Alejandro Sanz, Oscar De La Hoya, Pepe Aguilar, Gloria Estefan, Martin Sheen, Andy Garcia, Juanes, Carlos Vives, Eva Longoria, and Zoe Saldana, among many others.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards serve as a launch of HHF’s year-round, award-winning programs which inspire, prepare and connect Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s needs in priority fields. HHF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information on the mission of HHF visit www.hispanicheritage.org.