‘From the Barrio’ Author Receives Two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Awards

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

From the Barrio author Robert Renteria receives two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., awards for his advocacy in youth and education based programs across the country.

Civic leader and author of From the Barrio, Robert Renteria is the first Latino recipient to have received the first of two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., awards for excellence in anti-violence, education, youth initiatives, and community change Tuesday afternoon at the UIC Forum, which coincided with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. “We’re honoring Robert Renteria at this historic occasion because of the outstanding civil and human rights work he has done in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” stated the PUSH Excel Organization.

Bestowed upon Renteria on behalf of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s coalition, PUSH Excel and the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Award in Excellence in Educational Leadership and Reform, is meant to highlight the selfless accomplishments in community leadership on a national level as well as construct youth anti-violence initiatives. “These awards are a testament to the great work From the Barrio Foundation has done throughout the years in introducing anti-violence programs to underserved youth across the nation,” said Renteria days before his January 15 ceremony.

According to representatives in PUSH Excel and the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations, Renteria has been influential in appealing to youth from all types of backgrounds through his foundation, From the Barrio. “Robert Renteria has been noticed as a strong believer in education,” said Michero B. Washington, president of the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations. “He is joining a list of illustrious leaders throughout the country and based upon his work in education and community change, we will be honoring him again come January 26th. Dr. King would be proud.”

Renteria addresses youth issues through his From the Barrio Foundation and uses the Barrio book series and school, faith-based curricula to inspire, motivate, and teach teens and at-risk youth how to make better choices. “I am truly humbled. It is a great honor to receive two awards from two prestigious organizations,” said Renteria. “The Barrio Movement is helping to change the landscape for youth across America by offering Barrio as teaching tools.”

Renteria is scheduled to receive his second award from Chicago’s Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations on Saturday, Jan. 26th at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. If you would like to learn more about the From the Barrio Foundation, visit www.fromthebarrio.com.

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