This event has passed. Visit our Events page for upcoming Community Conversations at america250.org/events.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 @ 3:00 PM
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 @ 4:15 PM
Watch the Community Conversation
¡Hola! America250 is kicking off the new year with a Community Conversation with members of Latino, Hispanic, and Chicano communities.
Communities across the United States and around the world are coming together to share their hopes for the semiquincentennial, explore the experience of communities in the United States, and guide America250’s mission of being the most inclusive commemoration, and celebration, in our nation’s history. These sessions are nonpartisan and will be held regularly through 2026, giving panelists and participants the opportunity to speak into and shape the America250 commemoration.
Register at https://bit.ly/CCLatinoHispanic
Date: January 19, 2022
Time: 3:00pm-4:15pm ET
Meet the Panelists
Major General Alfred Valenzuela (Ret.), United States Army and co-chair of the Veterans, Military, & Family Members America250 Advisory Council
Major General(Ret.) Freddie Valenzuela served 33+ years in the US Army & was highly decorated for Heroism & Valor. He was awarded the 2 highest peacetime medals by the DOD. He served in Turkey/Syria, Colombia, Korea, Puerto Rico, Kuwait/Iraq, Peru, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, El Salvador, & Somalia, and had numerous InterAgency assignments. An Eagle Scout, he is in the Hall of Fame of St. Mary’s University, Boy’s & Girls Clubs & was named the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine. He was CEO of San Antonio Housing Authority & Executive Director of Bexar County Housing. He Co-founded the Warrior Defense Project at St. Mary’s University Law School. He & his Family published, “No Greater Love: The Lives & Times of Hispanic Soldiers”, with all proceeds going to the children of the deceased soldiers he buried from the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Married to the former Esther Trevino, they have two children Lori & Freddie with 4 grandchildren.
María Carla Chicuén, Founding Executive Director, CasaCuba at Florida International University
María Carla Chicuén has 10+ years of professional experience in the fields of higher education and international development. She joined Florida International University (FIU) in 2018 to lead the efforts to build CasaCuba, a first-of-its-kind cultural center for the preservation and celebration of Cuban heritage, and the study of Cuban affairs. Prior to her tenure at FIU, she led special projects in the Office of President Eduardo J. Padrón at Miami Dade College, focusing on strategic partnerships and community engagement. Earlier, she held positions as a Consultant in the Integration and Trade Sector at the Inter-American Development Bank in Panama City, Panama, and as a Consultant in the Education Sector of the Latin America and Caribbean Region at the World Bank in Washington, DC. Chicuén is an advocate for access to education and opportunity. She is the author of the book Achieve the College Dream: You Don’t Need to Be Rich to Attend a Top School (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
Mary Ann Gomez Orta, President and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute
Mary Ann Gomez Orta serves as the President & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI). The CHLI vision of advancing the Hispanic community’s diversity of thought aligns with Mary Ann’s motto that diverse points of view create better results for all. She is a former corporate marketing executive with Coors Brewing Company and McDonald’s Corporation, a national alliance development consultant with the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America. Currently, she serves on boards of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, American Latino Veterans Association and is a national advisor for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality. Mrs. Orta is a teacher at heart. She has taught at American University, University of Phoenix, and Heald College. In addition, she earned a B.A. in Communications at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and an M.B.A. at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
Patricia Mota, CEO of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement
Patricia Mota is an innovative trailblazer, startup entrepreneur, author, connector, public speaker, and compassionate leader. Patricia serves as the President & CEO for the Hispanic Alliance of Career Enhancement (HACE), leading strategy, fundraising & development, leadership programs, and expanding organizational reach on a national and international scale. In her first year as President & CEO in 2015, she grew new partnerships by $1.5M, increased membership by 67%, expanded the Mujeres de HACE women’s leadership program from one to eight cities, broadened the spectrum of the El Futuro High School program, and kickstarted a pilot of the HACE Leadership Academy – Nonprofit Series, impacting the lives of over 25,000 students and professionals. Today, the budget has quadrupled, membership has tripled to nearly 100k, with an expanded reach across 35 states and 7 countries, and enhanced leadership programming to include senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and multicultural participation.
Omar Eaton-Martínez, Assistant Division Chief, Historic Resources, Natural and Historical Resource Division, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, Maryland
Omar Eaton-Martínez hosts The Museum J.E.D.I. Show podcast that discusses the intersections of museums and social justice. He leads the Prince George’s County Historical Resources, including historical house museums, an aviation museum, the Black History Program and archaeological parks. He oversees programming for those sites with an emphasis on preserving, sustaining and enhancing these resources. He also worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, National Park Service, the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, NASA and was a K-12 teacher. He has led roles in racial equity organizations like Museums and Race: Transformation and Justice, Museum Hue and the Museum as Site for Social Action project. His research interests are Afro Latinx identity in museum exhibitions, Diversity and Inclusion in museums and cultural institutions, culture and education. He has supported public history projects centering blackness in Puerto Rico.