written by Myranda Valdez
The Denver Public Library started the Latino Community Service Awards back in 2002 at the Woodbury Branch Library, and was one of the first in the Denver area to recognize Latino leadership within the community. Awards are given to individuals who have made contributions to our community and are celebrated during a public ceremony during Hispanic Heritage Month. The library has recognized over 60 leaders since the induction of the awards, and many of the award recipients actually have collections in our archive! Emanuel Martinez, a prolific muralist, painter and sculptor, was inducted in 2020. Councilwoman Deborah “Debbie” Ortega, inducted in 2019, has a collection in process. Councilwoman Judy Montero was inducted in 2013. Bernard “Bernie” Valdez, inducted in 2010, was a founding member of the Latin America Research and Service Agency (LARASA) and the Latin American Education Foundation. This is only a small look into the amazing material of past award recipients that we have available to research! Please attend this year’s Latino Community Service Awards on September 16 from 10am - 12pm at the Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Branch Library, and check out some of the archival collections at the Special Collections and Archives department at the Central branch.
Emanuel Martinez Papers, WH2424
Debbie Ortega Papers, WH1419
Judy H. Montero Papers, WH2321
Bernard Valdez Papers, WH1839
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