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Harder Announces 2021 Latino Leadership Award Winners

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) announced that four individuals have won his 2021 Latino Leadership Award. Lourdes Perez, Carolina Alfaro, Dionicio Cruz, and Noe Paramo were given the award for their leadership in public health, mentorship, activism, veterans’ affairs, higher education and more. Rep. Harder presented the four awardees their awards during a ceremony in Modesto.

Additional photos are available for public use here.


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Read more about the winners below:

Lourdes Perez

Lourdes is a community advocate at Public Health Advocates where her passion and commitment to help the community is widely known. Throughout her time at the organization she has taught community members to excel and have a voice to advocate for policy and systemic change. She is also a longtime volunteer organizer for community health events, school board member, assistant tax preparer, active church member, and mom to three daughters. Her nominator wrote, “I know Lourdes from her help with the Promotora Program where she empowered Latinx community members… To her, being a Public Health Advocate means making the effort to ensure that all people have the right to a healthy lifestyle.”

Carolina (Caro) Alfaro

Carolina serves as a guide, mentor, and leader at Stanislaus State. She has been a leader and advocate for Central Valley communities for more than twenty years. Her nominator wrote, “Caro challenges systems of oppression, provides support and encouragement to people in her care and is always there to support students pursing higher education… Her lifelong work and commitment to philanthropic work has always been in the service of uplifting the community.”

Dionicio (Danny) Cruz

Dionicio is a veteran of the Vietnam War and has been an active community volunteer and exemplary role model in the Central Valley for almost fifty years. He has served on the Stanislaus County Equal Rights Commission, Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Headrest (Center for Human Services), Stanislaus County Council for the Spanish-Speaking, American GI Forum, Latino Community Roundtable, Hispanic Leadership Council (HLC) and its youth council, Veterans of Foreign War, Post 3199, and more. His nominator wrote, “His service has had a direct and beneficial impact on students, veterans, and the community throughout the Central Valley… Danny is a compassionate individual whose humble beginnings did not stop him from becoming an achiever and contributing member in our community. He is a leader with a sharp mind and a great sense of humor and is also a man of integrity.”

Noe Paramo

Noe is the Director of Sustainable Rural Communities Project of California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and a long-time resident of Stanislaus County. He is an incredible force working with the Latino community, especially underserved immigrant communities in the northern San Joaquin Valley. For more than twenty five years, he’s led projects including a massive COVID relief effort, naturalization workshops for Latino immigrants, voter education drives and more. His nominator wrote, “Noe has a deep understanding of the Latino community in Congressman Harder’s district and a tireless commitment to making concrete change for Latino farmworker families… Noe is singularly focused on uplifting immigrant and rural communities in our region and brings passion, dedication, and humility to all of his efforts.”


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