— Additional honorees include journalist and author Alicia Menendez and Omnicom CCN Chief DEI Officer Soon Mee Kim for their contributions in increasing representation and positive narratives of minorities in the media and communications industries —
MIAMI, FL — June 6, 2023 — (NOTICIAS NEWSWIRE) — The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) is proud to announce this year’s ¡BRAVO! Awards honorees: Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO Jose Antonio Tijerino, as Pioneer of the Year Award; host of MSNBC’s American Voices and Latina to Latina podcast, and author Alicia Menendez, as Journalist of the Year, and Omnicom Communications Consultancy Network Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Soon Mee Kim, as DEI Person of the Year. The HPRA ¡BRAVO! Awards are set to take place at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois on October 12, 2023.
“This year’s honorees have shown an unwavering dedication, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to breaking barriers and shifting the paradigm for multicultural communities across the United States,” said HPRA President Sonia V. Diaz. “They are extraordinary individuals who are at the forefront, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future, uplifting and empowering communities, and creating a more culturally diverse world. We are proud to honor them as change agents and beacons of light for our communities.”
The 2023 HPRA National ¡BRAVO! Awards celebrate excellence in multicultural storytelling in public relations and marketing while advancing positive narratives about Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. This year’s ¡BRAVO! Awards theme, “The Future is Ours,” focuses on the country’s on-going cultural shift and contributions of the Hispanic/Latino community.
“As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it is imperative to recognize the profound impact that Hispanic culture has had globally over the past decade. From Bad Bunny to breakfast tacos, our rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and perspectives has captivated hearts and minds worldwide, bridging gaps and fostering unity across cultures,” added Diaz.
Honorees for the 2023 National ¡BRAVO! Awards were nominated and chosen collectively by HPRA executive leadership and its board of directors. The honorees were selected for their pivotal work in shaping the industry and establishing progress for Hispanic and multicultural consumer segments in public relations, media, and communications.
Pioneer of the Year: Antonio Tijerino
Antonio Tijerino is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), where he has championed inclusion in education, workforce, social impact, and culture. An innovator and disruptor, Tijerino broadened the mission of HHF to encompass bridging the digital divide, which he considers one of the biggest equality issues of our time. As part of this effort, HHF partnered with Minecraft Education to create the first-ever, Latino-themed Minecraft game LatinExplorers: A Hispanic Heritage Journey, which was played by 30 million kids in 30 languages promoting Latinos as problem solvers. He also hosts the Fritanga podcast, and executive produces the Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center as a PBS broadcast. As an advocate of DEI, he prioritizes addressing issues of racism, homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and ableism within the Latino community. Tijerino has also led efforts in support of migrants from the border to our communities, helped produce the Oyeme! Project with Imagination Stage, and co-founded the Hispanic Leaders Alliance with the NFL. Under his leadership, HHF has been recognized for its unique “malleable mission” by the White House, U.S. Congress, Fortune 500 companies, and the government of Mexico.
Journalist of the Year: Alicia Menendez
Alicia Menendez has become a force in American media. She was named “Broadcast Journalism’s New Gladiator” by Elle Magazine, “Ms. Millennial” by The Washington Post, and a “Content Queen” by Marie Claire. As the anchor of MSNBC’s American Voices, Menendez was the first English-language television journalist to interview Keldy Mabel Gonzáles Brebe de Zúniga, one of the first mothers to be separated from her children under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy; helmed live on-the-ground coverage in the days following the Robb Elementary School Massacre in Uvalde, Texas; and contributed field reporting on Latino voters from Arizona and Nevada during the 2022 elections, and Florida and Texas during the 2020 elections. An incisive commentator, Menendez has provided context on stories ranging from Bad Bunny’s Grammy Awards performance, illustrating the disconnect between the redefined mainstream in which Latino artists have risen to the top, and the media institutions which are failing to keep up with this new reality; to the impact of Draconian immigration policies on American identity. She is also the creator and host of the Latina to Latina podcast, which has become a premiere platform for celebrating Latina greatness. Menendez has harnessed the power of her influence across various platforms, including digital, audio, print, streaming and linear television to champion issues that are important to Hispanics/Latinos. She represents the future of journalism.
DEI Person of the Year: Soon Mee Kim
Soon Mee Kim is a catalyst for systemic equity who has been recognized as an industry pacesetter, architecting innovative practices, programs and policies to create more just and inclusive workplaces. She has led award-winning initiatives such as “We Stand for Love,” using storytelling to change hearts and minds. Passionate about the power of the workplace to drive societal impact, Soon Mee currently serves on the national boards of ColorComm, The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), and the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). She is a founding member of VOICES for AAPI, and is the executive sponsor for Omnicom Asian Leaders Circle, the network-wide AAPI employee resource group. She is a frequent writer and speaker on broad topics of diversity, equity and inclusion, and has been a leading industry voice on anti-Asian hate.
For more information about the awards program and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: https://hprausa.org/bravo/.
About the HPRA ¡BRAVO! Awards
Established in 2014, the HPRA National ¡BRAVO! Awards celebrate the best corporate, agency, and non-profit public relations and marketing teams, and the stellar work they produce in the industry’s multicultural space. Additionally, every year, HPRA honors individuals in media and communications who are making an impact in their respective careers while advancing representation of multicultural and Hispanic communities throughout the country.
About the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA)
Founded in 1984, the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) is the foremost organization of Hispanic public relations practitioners in the U.S. HPRA is a resource for communications professionals and for individuals seeking Hispanic market expertise. It is dedicated to the recognition and advancement of Hispanics in public relations through year-round programs, professional development seminars and networking. HPRA hosts one of the most anticipated annual events and industry awards: the HPRA Bravo Awards, recognizing the most outstanding campaigns in the marketplace. The national organization aims to meet the professional needs of the growing number of Hispanic PR practitioners, independents and agencies throughout the U.S. HPRA National, its Chapters and those Chapters in formation are paving the way for the next phase of growth and evolution in the PR industry, especially in the Hispanic market space. For more information, please visit www.hpra-usa.org.