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MALDEF Recognizes Antonio Tijerino of HHF with Excellence in Community Service Award

Hispanic Heritage Foundation



The DREAM US’ Gaby Pacheco and Attorney Abelardo Perez also to be Honored

WASHINGTON, DC (April 9, 2019) – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) announced Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO Antonio Tijerino will be presented with the Excellence in Community Service Award along with The Dream US’ Gaby Pacheco and Attorney Abelardo Perez, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in the Legal Profession Award during the 50th Anniversary Gala in Washington, DC, on April 11, 2019.

“I’m proudly accepting the Community Service Award from MALDEF in recognition and reverence of the MALDEF and HHF staff and board, the countless organizations and individuals serving the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, and on behalf of the advocates that tirelessly continue la lucha against hate and injustice,” said Tijerino. “It’s an even greater privilege to share the stage with my sister Gaby Pacheco and Mr. Perez who are an embodiment of the critical work of MALDEF. As Americans, we all share a profound responsibility to ‘lift [the] lamp beside the golden door’ as it reads at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty which has greeted immigrants and refugees for more than a century.”

Tijerino has led the national nonprofit Hispanic Heritage Foundation for 18 years. HHF is known for being actionable, creative, agile, and impact-focused in meeting the Latino community and America’s priorities. HHF supports a growing network of more than 150,000 young Latino leaders mobilized in the tech, healthcare, science, engineering, entrepreneurship, finance, media, and other priority fields. HHF’s programs have been recognized by The White House, US Congress, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and the Government of Mexico. Tijerino is also an executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center and the broadcast on PBS stations.

Tijerino serves on numerous boards and committees both nationally and in his hometown of Washington, DC. As a proud immigrant from Nicaragua, Tijerino has been an advocate supporting refugees and immigrants through his writing, speaking, and by helping develop programs such as The American Project to treat immigrants with dignity; the #WeDreamAmerica Campaign which included a video of the national anthem performed by Grammy-nominated Locos Por Juana to promote the patriotism of immigrants in America; the DREAM LEAD Institute with Trinity University and Juan Sepulveda which is a national leadership institute exclusively for DACA recipients; Oyeme! with Imagination Stage, which included a play about the plight of unaccompanied minors currently touring to build empathy, understanding ; and the READ (Refugee Education And Development) effort in support of refugees; and the Center for the History of the New America at the University of Maryland, among other efforts. Tijerino has also worked extensively on the border leading delegations to bear witness by bringing supplies and comfort to the families and children since 2014 as well as working in communities across the country in support of refugees. He has also focused on addressing root causes in Latin America.

Tijerino’s blogs and media presence have made him a national voice on various issues including diversity, education, immigration, creativity, and youth empowerment. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland’s school of Journalism and was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School. Tijerino lives in Washington, DC,-area with his family.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is an award-winning, national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, leadership, and culture. Visit

Founded in 1968, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Our commitment is to protect and defend the rights of all Latinos living in the United States and the constitutional rights of all Americans. Visit


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