Reflecting & Rejoicing Celebrating 60 Years of Impact »

On Sunday, September 30, The Oakland Raiders honored Chris Iglesias, CEO with the 2018 NFL Heritage Leadership Award. Chris Iglesias has dedicated his career to executing a social equity agenda through innovative and strategic public-private partnerships.

Today, Iglesias leads one of East Oakland’s most vital community assets—a 54-year-old social equity development organization devoted to improving the quality life for the residents of the largest Latino neighborhood in the Bay Area—Oakland’s Fruitvale District—through a place-based economic and intergenerational equity agenda.

“I am honored to receive the Heritage Leadership Award on behalf of The Unity Council’s 300 staff members that work hard to make sure children youth, adults, and seniors in our community have the opportunity to thrive,” said Iglesias, “My work to support the Latino community is possible thanks to the passion, dedication, and commitment of my staff.”

As a recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Award, Iglesias selected the Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation (SSCF), as the recipient of a $2,000 grant. The Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation, based in the Fruitvale neighborhood, is helping East Bay families improve their lives, embrace their heritage, and develop as civic leaders by promoting educational enrichment and civic responsibility. Alicia Contreras, Executive Director of the SSCF, joined Iglesias on the field at the Raider’s game to accept the award. “The Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation is a sister organization of The Unity Council, founded at nearly the same time over 50 years ago, and continues to be a pillar in the Fruitvale community, particularly for families navigating the broken immigration system,” says Iglesias. “I’m proud to share this award with their strong and inspiring leader.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the NFL and Nationwide to honor Hispanic leaders who are making an impact on communities all over America,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President, and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “It is important to highlight their leadership not only in the traditional Latino regions but in recent-growing areas as well. Together with the NFL and Nationwide, we made sure that beyond the recognition there is an investment in local nonprofits. There is no better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than to make a difference in the Latino community year-round.”