This is why AL DÍA celebrates Hispanic Heritage in Philadelphia
We are tired of the Latino Stereotypes. How about looking for a moment at the Latino Archetypes?
America, and Philadelphia in particular, has been attracting thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries of Hispanic descent ever since Hispanic military leader Bernardo de Gálvez commanded troops against the British during the American Revolution.
Take for example Ambassador Manuel Torres, who settled here in our city in 1796, 20 years after our founding fathers gathered that historic day of July the 4th, 1776, at Independence Hall, not far from where Manuel lived for over 30 years— and eventually died, before being buried in Old City with military honors by his fellow Philadelphians 195 years ago.
Or Father Felix Varela, who published in Philadelphia his historic “El Habanero” Journal in 1823, or Francisco Miranda, who met our founding fathers when he came to our city at the end of the 18th Century in search of inspiration and support for his own liberation struggle in South America.
These "Archetypes of the Hispanic Heritage" abound in our history, but today, more than ever before, they are more frequent, they are alive, and they are here playing key roles in our public life.
Take for example the honorees chosen by AL DÍA’s Hispanic Heritage 2018 Advisory Board:
- Felipe Restrepo, Judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
- Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University.
- Alba Martínez, Principal, The Vanguard Group.
- Peter Gonzales, President & CEO of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.
- Dr. José Russo, Director of Fox Chase Breast Cancer Research Lab.
Notable and accomplished, they are however very little known in Philadelphia as they go totally unmentioned in our mainstream media and, furthermore, overshadowed by the constant barrage of "Stereotypes" that unfortunately prevail over that same media whenever the Latino experience is the subject.
AL DÍA’s Hispanic Heritage Awards hopes to make a contribution to the better understanding of this increasingly important part of the common American heritage by finally acknowledging each year the outstanding individuals — the Archetypes of Hispanic American Heritage, as we call them — that have chosen to live and work in Philadelphia.
By doing so, they are helping make our beloved city a multicultural urban center on the Eastern seaboard with a renewed aspiration to be, once again, a true global city — as we were in 1776, when the knowledge, brain and willpower gathered here gave birth to the political, economic and cultural miracle we call today the United States of America.
Philadelphia, August 15, 2018