American actress of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent Zoe Saldaña, Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar and Colombian singer Carlos Vives are among the Latinos who will be honored at the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Awards later this month.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is presenting the awards at its annual gala on Sept. 18 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Saldaña will receive the Vision award, Aguilar the award for Master of Arts and Vives the Legend award. Also receiving awards is Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) for his work on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as well as Democratic National Committee finance chief Henry Muñoz, who launched the Latino Victory Project with actress Eva Longoria earlier this year, for his leadership.
Additionally, former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams will be honored in the Sports category. The four undocumented students from the Carl Hayden Robotics Team who defeated some of the nations top colleges and universities in a 2004 robotics competition will be honored in the Education category. And the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army, known as The Borinqueneers, will also receive special recognition.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is proud to honor yet another inspiring group of Latino leaders with our prestigious Hispanic Heritage Award, Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation, said in a statement. The Hispanic community has made significant contributions throughout history, and we are proud to recognize that impact.
Tijerino added that beyond celebrating the past success of Latinos, the nonprofit is focused on the future. Now more than ever, Latinos will play a vital role in moving America forward, he said.
The White House established the Hispanic Heritage Awards in 1987 as a way to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. The awards are now considered among the nations highest honors for Hispanics by Hispanics.
For the first time, PBS will air the awards ceremony as a one-hour special nationally on Sept. 29.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards are a great opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the contributions Latino Americans have made to our nation, and come together to recognize the fantastic honorees, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, said in a statement. We look forward to sharing this gala event with our audiences, both on our airwaves, and online, and hope that it inspires greater cultural understanding and appreciation of our diversity as Americans.