October 2, 2009 Arizona Congressman to Deliver Closing Keynote Address for Hispanic Heritage Month at the Library of Congress

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Cynthia Acosta (202) 707-2013

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will deliver the closing keynote address on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 1:30 p.m. in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. A small reception will follow.

The theme of this year’s celebration, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, is "Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!"

Grijalva began his public career as a community organizer in his native city of Tucson, Ariz., and was the first Latino elected to the Tucson Unified School District Board in more than 20 years. He was subsequently elected to the Pima County Board of Supervisors, where he served from 1988 to 2002. His passion for environmental protection and his leadership in the area of land use led to the creation of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, an innovative approach to species and habitat protection in concert with land-use planning in the community. He was elected to the United States Congress in 2002 and is currently a member of the Committee on Education and Labor. He is also a member of the Committee on Natural Resources, serving as the chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee. He also serves as the first vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Grijalva was born and grew up in Tucson. His father emigrated from Mexico in 1945 through the “Bracero Program” during WWII, which allowed Mexican laborers to work in the U.S. to meet labor demand.

In addition to the Oct. 13 closing keynote address, the Hispanic Cultural Society and the Hispanic Division are sponsoring a screening of the award-winning documentary “389 Miles: Living the Border” on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Mary Pickford Theater. The explores the human relations forged by the border as told through the eyes of those in a single neighborhood spanning the fence, border residents, vigilantes patrolling the border in an attempt to seal it, and activists on both sides of the border who are trying to help undocumented migrants.

A special display from the Library’s collections highlighting the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the nation is on view in the Madison Building foyer through October 15, 2009. The Library launched an online resource page which highlights the collections on Hispanic Americans, their contributions and accomplishments. The site can be accessed via www.loc.gov/topics/hispanicheritage/.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at myLOC.gov.

The Hispanic and Portuguese collections of the Library of Congress comprise more than 13 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/.


PR 09-198
ISSN 0731-3527