July 28, 2018

Estimados Representantes de Trabajo y Justicia Social:

OLASW-MI is proud to announce its upcoming Banquet to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of  social work students and professionals with our yearly scholarship awards. We are excited to add several new recognitions to our Banquet as well. These include awards for outstanding social justice advocates representing several Latinx cultures as well as our new “Cultural Heritage and the Arts Programs Award” and our “Bilingual/Bicultural Educational Program Award.”

Our Banquet this year will take place at El Concilio Hispanoamericano of Kalamazoo on August 31st from 5:00-7:00 pm. It will include talented speakers and performers celebrating social work and its advocacy efforts during the Flint lead crisis, the Mexican earthquake, the Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria recovery, current attempts to reunite forcibly separated immigrant minors, and other actions carried out by our scholarship recipients.

Our three honored recipients this year include:

Maestra Luz Benítez Delgado, a highly accomplished Puerto Rican community leader residing in Kalamazoo. We are recognizing her for founding “Voces,” the flourishing non-profit agency supporting Latinxs in Battle Creek and being presented with a resolution from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Board of Trustees for more than 19 years of service to Latin America and the Caribbean, the national racial equity and healing work, and the implementation of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation process.

Social Worker Lissette Mira-Amaya, the primary mental health advocacy and support services therapist for the Latinx residents of Kalamazoo is our second award recipient. She has been an active participant in many social advocacy boards in the city and its universities. She is of Nicaraguan heritage.

Maestra Sue Quintanilla, our “Cultural Heritage and the Arts Award” recipient is a European American advocate and promoter of Mexican American mariachi and folk dance programming for Flint children and youth. Her work has enriched the lives of children from many ethnicities for over a decade and has provided her more advanced musicians with the opportunity to travel to Mexico to receive training from seasoned folk instructors. She has been a powerful force of cultural resilience during the Flint lead crisis.

For our “Bilingual/Bicultural Educational Program Award” we are honoring the Academy of the Americas from Detroit for their exceptional and arduous work promoting dual language immersion and bicultural public education since 1991. Their most recent outstanding accomplishment is adding a high school to their program with their first graduating class this year. They have added an innovative Spanish immersion curriculum which will begin this year.

We are requesting that you forward this letter to your social work and interdisciplinary Latinx students and
colleagues so that their important accomplishments can be known by applying for our OLASW-MI
The forms are included in this email. We are also requesting that each social work school and social
service agency sponsor the attendance of its representatives at $100.00 per person. If the sponsorship
includes four or more representatives, your group will be able to attend at a discounted price of $50.00
from the total. The unsponsored individual student fee is $30.00 and youth and children’s fees (18 or
younger) are $7.00.
Departmental and agency sponsors will have their logos included in the Banquet Program and in the
upcoming OLASW-MI newsletter whose primary topic will focus on child welfare. It will contain an
illuminating “counterpoint” discussion about child welfare in Michigan and Puerto Rico offered by Dr.
Robert M. Ortega from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in Ann Arbor and Dr. Eveliza
Crespo from la Universidad del Este in Puerto Rico. The newsletter will also include the names of the
scholarship recipients and the biographies of our special award recipients.
The scholarship applications are due August 10, 2018 . We request that all agency and department group
reservations be made by August 15th. They should be emailed to OLASW-MI Secretary Ms. Nora Suarez
Sanders (Wayne State University MSW Student) at nsuarezs@umflint.edu and copied to
matos@umich.edu . Please send us an electronic copy of your logo to be posted if you are willing to
sponsor a group. If you would like to view a copy of our previous newsletter focusing on gerontology
please go to our OLASW-MI website: http://www.olasw.org/
We look forward to hearing from your school or agency, to honoring your outstanding accomplishments,
and to planning our future action steps for multicultural social justice.

Roxanna Duntley-Matos LMSW, PhD

President, Organization of Latino Social Workers-MI

Community Liaison, MI Children’s Trust Fund Board

Sophia Estrada-Ferreira, LBSW
 Vice-President, OLASW-MI

Nora Suárez Sanders, BSW
Secretary, OLASW-MI

Adrian Vázquez Alatorre

Co-Treasurer, OLASW-MI
Director, Hispanic American Council

Organization of Latino Social Workers
​Michigan Chapter

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