Compassion & Choices Joins in 45th Annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Leadership Conference
Members of our staff attended the event with thousands of others — including the president of the United States — for a powerful kick-off to our various activities in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sep 26, 2022
The 45th Annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) 2022 Leadership Conference, which Compassion & Choices proudly co-sponsored, concluded last Thursday in the nation’s capital with a red-carpet gala and a special visit by President Joe Biden.
This year’s theme, “Rooted in Strength, Achieving Our Dream,” highlighted the very essence of the Hispanic community’s pursuit of the American Dream.
“All of you here tonight embody the same theme rooted in the strength and, of achieving our dreams,” President Biden said. (02:12):
More than 3,000 people gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Gala to kick-off the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 - October 15.
It was the CHCI’s first in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the United States in 2020. The event served as the largest and most prestigious congregation of Hispanic leaders in the United States to celebrate the community's heritage.
The president praised Hispanics for their ongoing commitment to solve the challenging health and inequity issues that negatively impact their rapidly growing community, which now represents nearly one in five U.S. residents (60 million people).
Members of Congress, top executives, journalists and key Compassion & Choices staff members attended the conference and celebrations, including President/CEO Kim Callinan, Chief Marketing & Program Officer Tom Quash, National Director of Community Engagement Brandi Alexander, Latino Engagement Director Maria Otero, Latino Engagement Manager Leslie Martinez and Director of Federal Programs Anthony Hinojosa.
Other high profile Hispanic participants included the iconic civil rights leader and Compassion & Choices champion Dolores Huerta.
Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services - CHCI American Dream Medallion in Excellence
Jaime Jarrín, Ecuadorian-born American sportscaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers - CHCI Chair's Award
The late Celia Cruz - Cuban-American Singer, CHCI American Dream Medallion of Excellence Posthumous Medallion Award
Lucille Roybal-Allard, California Congresswoman - CHCI Legacy Award
Albio Sires, New Jersey Congressman - CHCI Legacy Award
The conference kicked off with a reception on Monday at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, followed by the opening session with featured speaker Vice President Kamala D. Harris.
“We have a charge, being in the positions we are in at this moment in time in the history of our country and our world,” said Harris. “And it is more than a notion that we must stand for our democracy and the founding principles of our nation, which include the importance of freedoms and liberty, not to mention equality and justice.”
Other speakers included Nanette Diaz Barragán, the first Latina ever to represent California’s 44th Congressional district, Alex Padilla, California’s first Latino U.S. Senator who filled the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Harris and Enrique Acevedo, an Emmy Award-winning journalist and the first CBS News Latino correspondent in the 50-year history of 60 Minutes. Enrique formerly anchored the news at media giants Univision and Telemundo.
Topics during the sessions ranged from “Our Path to Equitable Justice’ Building a Climate Resilient Nation: Green America Communities and Business” to the “Need for Strong Spanish Media.”