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2016 American Heritage Awards

Join us for an inspiring evening as we celebrate the talents, contributions, and accomplishments of notable immigrants and their advocates! The national winner of the Council's Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest will also read his or her winning entry. The evening will begin with a reception and be followed by an awards dinner.

 Date: Friday, June 24, 2016
Time: 6:00 - 10:00 PM
Venue: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Cost: $250 per ticket (includes dinner and open bar)

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Entertainment by Mariachi Sol de México

Mistress of Ceremonies:
Astrid Silva
(Las Vegas DREAMer, Activist and former award winner)

This year we are honoring:

Homa Sarshar

Homa Sarshar is a published author, award-winning journalist, writer, and media personality.  She is the author of four books and the editor of eleven other volumes, including five volumes of the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation Journal and four volumes of The History of Contemporary Iranian Jews. 

Sarshar has received numerous awards for her work, including the Medal for Special Achievement in Women's Rights, given by The Iranian Women's Organization of Tehran, Iran; Journalism Award: Distinguished Iranian Women by the Encyclopaedia Iranica; Commendation for Community Affairs Services by the County of Los Angeles; and 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 1995, Sarshar founded the Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History (CIJOH) in Los Angeles with the mission to promote, preserve, and proliferate Iranian art, culture, and tradition in the United States.

Throughout her 51-year career with Iranian and Iranian-American print, radio, and television, Sarshar has done more than 1500 interviews and has produced and anchored as many radio and television programs. She has also written, directed, and produced a collection of twenty video documentaries on exiled Iranian writers, poets, and artists, some of which have been acquired by the Library of Congress for the library’s permanent audiovisual archive.

Sonia Nazario

Sonia Nazario is an award-winning journalist whose stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems -­‐-­‐ hunger, drug addiction, immigration -­‐-­‐ and have won some of the most prestigious journalism and book awards.

She is best known for "Enrique's Journey," her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. Published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, "Enrique's Journey" won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book by Random House and became a national bestseller.

Her recent humanitarian efforts to get lawyers for unaccompanied migrant children led to her selection as the 2015 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award recipient by the Advocates for Human Rights. She also was named a 2015 Champion of Children by First Focus and a 2015 Golden Door award winner by HIAS Pennsylvania.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40.”


A special thank you to our Sponsors: