Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Celebrating 25 years of the Américas Award

October 2nd, 2018

This year, we celebrated 25 years of the Américas Award in Washington, D.C. during Hispanic Heritage month. On September 28, 2018, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Program presented the 2018 Américas Award to Ibi Zoboi for her work, American Street, and Duncan Tonatiuh for his work Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet. About 60 educators attended this year‘€™s ceremony, while almost 700 viewers joined us remotely via the Library of Congress’ ‘€œlive-stream‘€: for the awards ceremony.

CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children‘€™s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.

Zoboi‘€™s book, American Street is a complex and multi-layered story anchored around relationships and questions of loyalty. Zoboi shared her experiences writing this book and provided context for teaching this book in a high school classroom.

Award winner Duncan Tonatiuh

The second 2018 award winner by Duncan Tonatiuh, Danza! is a magnificent celebration of Amalia Hernández, the dancer and choreographer who founded the famed Mexican dance company, el Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh shared with educators his unique illustrative style and engage participants in an exploration of Amalia Hernández and her impact in the world of dance. This picture book is the perfect book for every library.

In honor of the 25 year anniversary of the book award, this year‘€™s Américas Award K-12 educator workshop gave 25 educators an opportunity to learn more about the 2018 book winners, and to provide guidance and resources for incorporating these award winning books into their classrooms.

Following this year‘€™s workshop theme focused on diversity and the role of community, James Huck, the Assistant Director for Latin American Studies Graduate Programs at Tulane University, and Denise Woltering-Vargas, the Senior Program Manager of the Latin American Resource Center, kicked off the event in DC beginning on Wednesday, September 26, with an International Baccalaureate Educator Workshop organized by Julie Kline, Associate Director of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, for 35 high school teachers from Fairfax County, Virginia.

The event also honored Georgette Dorn, who will retire this year from her position as Chief of the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress. With an historian‘€™s dedication to shedding light on the past and acquiring and preserving current cultural and intellectual materials for future generations, she has led efforts to grow the Library‘€™s Luso-Hispanic collections and make them accessible to all.

The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and coordinated by both Tulane University‘€™s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Vanderbilt University‘€™s Center for Latin American Studies. Generous support is also provided by Florida International University, Stanford University, The Ohio State University, UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Florida, University of New Mexico, University of Texas at Austin, University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Photos of the event may be accessed through the flickr website.

General Latin America + People
Nancy Mock
Associate Professor - Global Health Systems and Development