Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver, Teddy Gomez, Xposer Photography…See Photo galleries below…
keynote speaker. Nita Gonzales received the Las Raices Award, Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP) was presented with the Cultura Cura Award. The Community Builder Award went to the Office of Economic Development, John Lucero.
The Community Builder Award was presented to Nita Gonzales for her longevity and impact in the movement for civil rights. Ms. Gonzales, a native of Denver, is the eldest daughter of Rodolfo, Corky, Gonzales and Geraldine Gonzales. She has two children, her son Estanislado A. Gonzales and Gabriela Gonzales-Lucero.
Ms. Gonzales is President/CEO of Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios, the forty-four year old Chicano school founded by her father. Ms. Gonzales’ involvement in the Denver and Colorado communities far transcends the building housing Escuela Tlatelolco. First, she actively cultivates relations between the Chicano and American Indian communities of Denver, creating a curriculum and an environment at Escuela that reminds Chicano youth of their roots in indigenous cultures throughout the hemisphere.
The Cultura Cura Award was presented to GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project) for their cultural expertise in changing lives for the better, working with at risk youth. GRASP is a peer-run, intervention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or are presently active in gangs, helps families of gang victims, and serves as a youth advocate. GRASP works so well because it is primarily run by exgang members who broke free of the gang life-style and turned their lives around. The staff understands how difficult it is to make this transition and the challenges facing youth who do it. GRASP utilizes the philosophy of La Cultura Cura which literally translates to “culture cures”. It doesn’t necessarily pertain to one specific culture, but with a “healing” culture in general and valuing people’s individual cultures with which they were raised as a vehicle to deliver the healing message.
OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Community Builder Award was presented to the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) for its continued support over the past decade of various programs and for their tremendous support in financing our significant renovations and rehab of our new building. The Denver OED is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
Photos by Teddy Gomez Xposer Photography for Latin Life Denver