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August 29, 2007

Congressman Xavier Becerra To Deliver Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote

"His keen intellect and substantive policy expertise have made him a national leader on issues of significance to Latinos and all Americans," Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).

Becerra, who serves as assistant to the speaker, will deliver the keynote address for the Library’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

The theme of this year’s celebration, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, is "Hispanic Americans: Making a Positive Impact on American Society."

First elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, Becerra is the first Latino to serve on the Ways and Means Committee and is a member of the House Committee on Budget. A former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Becerra is also a member of the executive committee of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. At the international level, he serves as vice chair of the United States–Korea Interparliamentary Exchange and is co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus.

In addition to his congressional duties, Rep. Becerra is a board member for the Close Up Foundation, the nation’s largest youth civic education organization, which brings more than 25,000 students and teachers to Washington, D.C., annually, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, which provides scholarships and internship opportunities for the next generation of Latino leaders. Rep. Becerra also serves on the Smithsonian Board of Regents, a panel of 17 members who oversee the Smithsonian Institution’s expansive collection.

In addition to the Sept. 18 keynote address, the Library will present other events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Arturo Sarukhán, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, presents a talk titled "The Future of Relations Between Mexico and the United States" on Monday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m., in the Mumford Room.
  • June D. Komisar, an assistant professor of architecture science at Ryerson University in Canada, discusses "Innovation in Brazilian Architecture: The Churches of Colonial Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais" on Friday, Oct. 5, at noon, in the West Dining Room, sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building.
  • The Américas Awards for Children’s and Young Adult Literature will be presented to Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren and Margarita Engle on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Mumford Room.
  • The film "Walkout," recalling the a peaceful walkout of Chicano students in the East Los Angeles high schools, will be screened on Friday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. in the Mary Pickford Theater, third floor of the James Madison Building.

A special display from the Library’s collections highlighting the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the nation will be on view in the Madison Building foyer throughout the month. On Sept. 7, the Library will launch an online resource page at www.loc.gov/topics/hispanicheritage/ to highlight its collections about Hispanic Americans and their contributions and accomplishments.

The Hispanic and Portuguese collections of the Library of Congress comprise more than 10 million items and are believed to be the most extensive such collections in the world. For more information about the Library’s Luso-Hispanic holdings, visit the Library’s Hispanic Reading Room in person or online at www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/.

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PR 07-167
08/29/07
ISSN 0731-3527

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