Sacramento – Yesterday, the State Legislature hosted the 16th annual Latino Spirit Awards honoring 10 individuals of significant achievement from around the state. Among those honored was Father Miguel Ceja of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Riverside who was recognized for his significant contributions to social justice in his community.
“I am so proud that Father Ceja’s efforts to uplift the community have been recognized”, said Assemblymember Reyes. “He has spent his life in service of others to educate and empower the least fortunate among us.”
Father Miguel Ceja founded a social justice group, Raíces de Justicia (Roots of Justice), to encourage community members to become active on various local and state issues. Father Ceja was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and he migrated to California at the age of 14 as an undocumented immigrant. Father Ceja has served as a missionary in El Salvador, as a volunteer organizer with UNITE HERE and the United Farm Workers in the Coachella Valley, and as an organizer with the Zapatistas Indigenous Communities in Chiapas, Mexico. Upon receiving his award, Father Ceja shared that he was humbled to receive recognition for the work he does which is his calling in life.
The Latino Spirit Awards are held every year by the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) to honor and recognize Latinos from all around the state that have made significant achievements in their particular fields. The CLLC is made up of 27 members of both the State Senate and the Assembly, including both the Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León and the Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon as well Secretary of State Alex Padilla and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes is also a member of the caucus.
16th Annual latino Spirit Award Honorees:
Beatriz Acevedo- Achievement in Technology & Media
Sylvia Acevedo- Achievement in Health & Science
Isabel Allende- Achievement in Literature
Joseph I. Castro- Achievement in Education
Father Miguel Ceja- Achievement in Human Rights
Jonas Corona- Dynamic Youth Award
Michael Lizárraga-Achievement in Business
Adrian Molina- Achievement in Arts & Entertainment
Maria Elena Salinas- Achievement in Journalism & Media
Josephine S. Talamantez- Achievement in Arts & Advocacy
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.
Contact: Galen Dobbins, email@example.com, (916) 319-2047