The state’s top Latino legal professionals, dignitaries, friends, and supporters took center stage as the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association ("CHBA") held its twenty-seventh annual fund raiser and dinner on January 24, 2004, at the Westin Tabor Center Hotel in downtown Denver. The vibrant sounds of Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra filled the air as more than 350 guests gathered to acknowledge strides made by the CHBA over the past year, and to honor several of their colleagues.
The evening’s theme was "The Latino Tsunami: The Surging Latino Population and What it Means to America" and featured California lawyer and author Nicolás Vaca. Vaca is the author of The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What It Means for America (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004). He considers his book to be an "honest attempt" to address issues that may create tension between the Latino and African-American communities and provide methods to ease tensions and bridge the divisions.
During the evening, the CHBA paid tribute to five of its members: Monica Guardiola of Baker & Hostetler, LLP was recognized as the Outstanding New Hispanic Lawyer; DU College of Law Dean Mary Ricketson received the Community Service Award for her continuing commitment to promote diversity in the law school; attorney and award-winning author Manuel Ramos of the Colorado Legal Services was presented with the Christopher Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer Award; and Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Jose D. L. Marquez received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service and commitment to the legal profession. Also, special recognition was given to past CHBA President Federico Alvarez for his service during the past year.
CHBA President Lorenzo Trujillo (left) and Deputy Attorney General Donald Quick at the CHBA annual dinner/fund raiser in January.
Lorenzo Trujillo, CHBA’s current President, considers 2003 a banner year for the CHBA. "We were excited to host a national author whose thought-provoking remarks stimulated valuable conversation and reflection on the future of Latinos in America," he said. "The participation from the law schools, various law firms, and members of the legal community reached an all-time high. . . ."
Manuel Ramos (second from right), Christopher Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Attorney Award recipient, with (left to right) David Givens, Judge Martin Gonzales, and (retired) Judge William Martinez.
In a show of solidarity, Gary Jackson, attorney and a founding member of the Sam Cary Bar Association ("SCBA"), as well as a CHBA member, attended the event. Jackson said he welcomed the opportunity to examine ways the two bar associations could continue to work together toward similar goals, including providing scholarships for minority law students. Jackson mentioned that he would like to see a joint function take place with the CHBA and the SCBA.
During the evening’s award presentations, Lorenzo Trujillo announced the Outstanding Hispanic Attorney Award would be renamed to honor attorney Chris Miranda, who died in 2003. The award will now be called the Christopher Miranda Hispanic Attorney Award. Several members of Miranda’s family were on hand for the occasion. Also in attendance were many judges, state dignitaries, business and community leaders, as well as past presidents and supporters of the CHBA. Among them were former State Senator Polly Baca, who is executive director of LARASA, a public policy and research organization; Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar; Colorado Supreme Court Justices Alex Martinez and Nathan B. Coats; and U.S. Congressman Bob Beauprez.
"We look forward to continuing the growth and mission of this organization well into the future," Trujillo said.
For information about becoming a member and/or financial supporter of the CHBA, contact Trujillo at (303) 460-9891 or visit http://www.chba.net.