UCLA's Raúl Hinojosa Ojeda to be recognized by the White House
By Ricardo Vazquez July 25, 2012 Category: Academics & Faculty
Raúl Hinojosa Ojeda, founding member and director of UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center (NAID) and associate professor in the César Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, will be honored by the White House Friday as a "Connecting the Americas Champion of Change" for his work linking immigrant diasporas to their home countries for the benefit of both.
At the event, Hinojosa Ojeda, along with eight other individuals from across the country, will be recognized for their extraordinary contributions toward the development of – and diplomacy with – their countries of origin.
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of honorees, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
"I’m very honored and proud to have received this award," Hinojosa Ojeda said, "particularly because what it recognizes is the need to build bridges of understanding and development between the U.S. and Latin America. This is precisely what the mission of UCLA’s NAID has been all along."
The ceremony honoring Hinojosa Ojeda and the other winners will be hosted by the White House, along with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. At the event, federal agency representatives and White House officials will engage in a discussion with the honorees to hear about the work they are doing.
Hinojosa Ojeda has written numerous articles and books on trade, investment and migration relations between the U.S., Mexico, Latin American and the Pacific Rim.
In addition, along with former U.S. Rep. Esteban Torres (D-Calif.), he was the originator of the proposal for the North American Development Bank, which was created by the U.S. and Mexican governments in 1994. Hinojosa Ojeda is also the founder and CEO/chairman of SF Global, LLC, a social empowerment innovation company focused on the development and implementation of low cost, secure and accessible financial services to the unbanked and under-banked populations in the U.S. diaspora and their home countries.
Hinojosa Ojeda said he shares the honor from the White House with his colleagues in the Chicana/o Studies Department.
"This award is recognition not only for my work, but for the work many of us do at the César Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies focusing on the vital importance of immigrants and transnational connections to their home counties," he said.