CA Trip--Imagen Awards 099[1] Last night, I attended The Imagen Foundation Awards with Chill Out producer Melinda Esquibel of Mundo Maravilla, director Melissa Balin of the Brookturn Company, and NWF board member Lyvier Conss. (That's them with me and Jose Yenque in the photo at right.) The evening was filled with awards for amazing and talented actors, writers, agents, and a legendary civil rights and social justice leader.

Chill Out was nominated for “Best National Informational Programming” for the positive portrayal of Latinos and Latino culture in the entertainment industry. It's the first webcast to be nominated for this prestigious award, and we were up against four other incredible programs about varying topics. We didn't win, but we were so thrilled to be nominated and attending the ceremony.

A few highlights of the night included meeting Jose Yenque, one of the talented actors featured in the Chill Out webcast. Jose has been a great supporter and was so excited to be a part of our program, as it is such an important issue. We met the beautiful and young actress Caitlin Sanchez, the voice of Dora the Explorer. Tom Cruise surprised everyone by showing up to give one of the awards. Benjamin Bratt, Robert Orci, Jimmy Smits, Judy Reyes, Silvio Horta, Wilmer Valderrama, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and so many more incredible actors, writers, producers and executives were there.

CA Trip--Imagen Awards 075Of all the amazing women attending the awards, one stood out among the rest—national civil rights leader and humanitarian Dolores Huerta. She was being honored with the 2009 President’s Award for her work in social justice. Dolores has been a leader in the community for 50 years, co-founding the United Farm Workers of America and advocating that people transform their lives by becoming leaders in their own communities. The Dolores Huerta Foundation’s mission is to inspire and organize sustainable communities.

The Imagen Foundation Awards was a great time to celebrate the amazing and creative Latinos in entertainment and in the community, and we were honored to be recognized by an organization that supports the same goals as we do: a fair, diverse society that takes care of its people and environment.