2013 Óscar Romero Award for Human Rights Ceremony Honoring Blanca Velázquez

Rothko Chapel

The 2013 Óscar Romero Award will be given to Blanca Velázquez, a champion of worker rights and dignity in Mexico. The 12th such award given by the Rothko Chapel since 1986, this award honors unsung heroes who work under extraordinary circumstances to advance human rights. The award is named after Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador, who was murdered on March 24, 1980, because of his opposition to violence and his courageous defense of the poor in his country.

Velázquez is the director of the Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador (Center for Worker Support – CAT), which was founded in 2001 by Velázquez and a few other young, female labor rights activists to promote the rights of workers in Mexico's garment and auto-parts industries in the state of Puebla. Formerly a maquila worker herself, Velázquez's work to support the rights of this primarily female workforce puts her up against powerful, often corrupt and violent actors.

Keynote speaker Baldemar Velásquez is an American labor union activist. He co-founded and is president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1989 and awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle in 1994, the highest honor Mexico can bestow on a non-citizen.

A reception follows the program.



Rothko Chapel
3900 Yupon St.
Houston, TX 77006


Admission is free.
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