The Hispanic Heritage Awards’ virtual Ceremony on Tuesday, October 13 will honor five exemplary Houstonians “for their outstanding contributions toward improving the quality of life within the Houston Hispanic community.” The ceremony, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, will bring Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board together to honor individuals nominated by community members and selected by the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Awards (MHHA) Committee. A live broadcast of the event will be available on the Houston Municipal Channel (HTV) and the City of Houston’s social media platforms.
“Hispanic Heritage Month allows us to pay tribute to the diversity and vibrancy of Houston’s Hispanic community,” says Mayor Turner. “I am proud to continue our City’s yearly tradition of honoring and celebrating five exceptional Houstonians who are committed to uplifting and strengthening the Houston Hispanic community.”
Award recipients include artist Alejandro “Alex” Roman Jr., a.k.a. Donkeeboy, and his mother Sylvia Roman (Donkeemom). From the East End to the Sixth Ward’s Union HTX gallery, the duo’s prolific work includes the recent murals dedicated to George Floyd and Vanessa Guillén. Roman, a Houston native, has created murals over the past 20 years.
Among his other connections to Houston communities, Roman serves on the advisory committee for the Catwalks & Classrooms showcase exhibit, assists young designers at Fashion Camp Houston, and works as an art instructor for Break Free Hip-Hop School.
The awards ceremony will also recognize Alfonso Maldonado III with the 2020 Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. Maldonado’s activism addressing civil rights issues in Houston’s Hispanic community, as well as his three decades of service in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), will be honored.
Another award, for Youth Activist 2020, will go to Yonatan Mascorro. Mascorro grew up in the East End of Houston, and graduated at the top of his Stephen F. Austin High School class. While in high school, the young activist mentored 25 students in calculus, physics, and chemistry in the Academic Achievers Program, guiding them to the top 10 percent of their graduating class in two years. Yonatan is now a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston.
Dr. Sandra Guerra Thompson will receive the 2020 Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Education in the Community Award. Thompson, a Yale University and Yale Law School graduate, served as inspiration to young Latino law students and to her community. Dr. Thompson is also a former professor at the University of Houston Law Center; she taught there for three decades.
Rounding up the list of honorees on October 13 is Community Activist Award recipient Hugo Mojica. The Nicaragua-born, Near-North-Side-raised Mojica was a first-generation college student, attending the University of Houston and receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science. Mojica’s nearly two decades of working for local, state, and federal officials and nonprofit organizations has earned him his honors.
For more details on the award ceremony, please go here.