September 15, 2021

Congressman Neguse Announces Professor Violeta Chapin as Winner of 2021 Polly Baca Raíces Fuertes Community Leader Award in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

Neguse launched the award program in 2020 to honor committed service to latinx communities in Colorado’s 2nd District

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced that University of Colorado Law Professor Violeta Chapin has been named the winner of his second annual Polly Baca Raíces Fuertes Community Service Award. Neguse established the award in 2020 to recognize an exemplary leader in the 2nd Congressional District who best exhibits commitment to the service of others and dedication to social justice. Professor Chapin’s record of service to the Latinx community is extensive both as an educator and an activist—mentoring Latinx law students and speaking publicly on a range of immigrant issues.

“I am so excited to present Professor Violeta Chapin with this year’s Polly Baca Raíces Fuertes Community Service Award,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “From her pro bono service to the immigrant communities to her volunteer work with first generation Latinx law students, she immediately stood out as someone who exemplifies the spirit of service we seek to highlight with this award. I am so thankful for Violeta’s phenomenal and selfless activism and advocacy on behalf of our immigrant communities and am proud to call her my constituent.”

Professor Chapin’s nominator noted her career of service representing, defending, uplifting, and advocating for Latin American communities whether in the classroom, the courtroom, the boardroom, or the community. They also highlighted her staunch defense of communities that the Trump administration attempted to target during its tenure, and her compassionate approach to criminal justice reform.

The Award is named in honor of Polly Baca, the first woman of color to be elected to the Colorado Senate, the first Latina to receive a major party nomination to the U.S. Congress, and the first Latina to chair two National Democratic Conventions. She is also the founder of  the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA), and has served  in many capacities within the organization.  

The Polly Baca Raices Fuertes Community Service Award honors Latino/Latinx/Chicano/ ChicanIndio individuals who embody the qualities of service to others and the uplifting of the Latino/Latinx community that Polly Baca herself represents.

Congressman Neguse will present Professor Chapin with the award at a Latino Advisory Council event on Wednesday night.