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Bernal among community leaders to be honored at César Chávez gala

  • headshot: Jesse Bernal

Posted on October 11, 2018

Jesse Bernal, vice president for Inclusion and Equity, will be among the honorees at the 14th annual César E. Chávez Hispanic Excellence Scholarship and Community Awards Gala.

Hosted by the Committee to Honor César E. Chávez, the event is Thursday, October 25, at 6 p.m. at Noto's Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th St. SE. A cash bar at 5:30 p.m. precedes the dinner. 

Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased online at Proceeds support the Lupe Ramos-Montigny Legacy Endowed Scholarship at Grand Valley.

Bernal will receive an Aguila Award, which committee chair Ramos-Montigny said recognizes his leadership skills and commitment to students. Since Bernal came to Grand Valley in 2015 as its second vice president for Inclusion and Equity, Grand Valley has adopted a social justice and intersectional framework that guides university initiatives and community partnerships.

Other award recipients are listed below.

• Youth Award: Juan Paulo Palacios, Grand Valley engineering major

• Golden Citizen Award: Rick Muñiz, educator, motivator and musician

• Hispanic Advocate Award: Wendy VerHage Falb, executive director of the Literacy Center of West Michigan

• La Familia Award: Gema Lowe & Family

• Aguila Award: Jesse Bernal, GVSU; and Elizabeth Reyes-Rosario, Grand Rapids Law Group

Area college students will be awarded scholarships. More information about the event is on Facebook,