WASHINGTON DC – Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based Evangelical network in the United States, committed to strengthening the Latino community, announced that President Barack H. Obama will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast this Friday, June 19 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  President Obama will address the Hispanic community and share his thoughts and plans on how to address the issues that gravely affect Latinos in the United States.

Esperanza is proud to welcome The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, who will be speaking during the Prayer Breakfast, as well.  Secretary Napolitano has an extensive background in homeland security.  She is fiercely and fearlessly committed to our country’s safety, being one of the first to implement state homeland security strategies in the nation.  She has also been instrumental and vocal in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform.

Governor Edward G. Rendell (D-PA) will be receiving the Esperanza Leadership Award based on the bible verse Joshua 1:9, for his exemplary leadership.  Maria Ruiz, who was named a CNN Hero and given an award with the same title, will now be receiving the Mujeres de Esperanza Certain Woman Award for uplifting other women through service; for her compassionate and selfless work providing aid and resources to those stricken by poverty and violence in the city of Juarez, Mexico.

The program will also feature musical performances from major Hispanic Gospel artists, such as Latin Grammy Award winner, Marcos Witt; ARPA Award winner, Julissa; Alex Campos; Ingrid Rosario; Ordained Praise; and Christian trumpet artist, David O’Neill.

“The Hispanic Faith community is delighted to receive our president at this year’s Prayer Breakfast,” said the Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr.  “We are anxious to take notice of the issues he feels are the most salient for our community.  We are encouraged by his caring for the plight of the Latino community and for fighting for Latino Civil Rights.”

The 2009 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference has gathered over 750 Hispanic clergy members of different denominations and leaders of community based organizations, representing a broad spectrum of the national Latino community.

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