Hispanic Heritage Luncheon
About the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon
The Luncheon is the primary fundraising event for the HBAA Foundation, which awards scholarships that enable economically disadvantaged Hispanic college students to become lawyers and ensure diversity in the legal profession.
Funds raised by the event go directly towards scholarships for college seniors who wish to take the LSAT review course, and scholarships for law students to help defray the costs of studying for the bar exam. HBAA believes one of its primary responsibilities is to help and encourage Hispanic students who have an interest in attending law school so that the legal community can have a larger percentage of practicing Hispanic lawyers. As the Hispanic population grows in central Texas, so must the number of practicing Hispanic attorneys.
The 20th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon will be held on September 23, 2016 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin. We will welcome as keynote speaker Judge Edward Prado of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and Sebastien de la Cruz, 14-year old mariachi sensation.
The 19th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon was held on October 23, 2015. We returned to the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin for this year's luncheon, which was headlined by Justice Gina Benavides of the 13th Court of Appeals of Texas as our keynote speaker, and Margo Rey, singer-songwriter and award-winning vocalist, as our cultural speaker.
The 18th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon was held on October 17, 2014 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin. Author Alisa Valdes served as cultural speaker and regaled the audience with humorous anecdotes from her youth. Justice Raul A. Gonzalez, Jr., first Hispanic member of the Texas Supreme Court, emphasized the importance of giving back to the community in a rousing address as our keynote speaker.
The HBAA held its 17th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon on October 18, 2013 at the W Hotel in downtown Austin. Mexican-American performer Tish Hinojosa was featured as the cultural speaker and delighted the audience with her songs and tales of her childhood, and her start as a performing artist. Her stories painted a vivid picture of the challenges she faced as a Latina in the music industry. This year’s keynote speaker, United States Congressman Henry Cuellar, emphasized the importance of education in his address, and commended the commitment to education that our sponsors and attendees displayed by their support.
In October 2012, HBAA was honored to hold the 16th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon at the W Hotel in Downtown Austin. Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit served as keynote speaker and described his unique journey to the federal bench. HBAA also welcomed special guest former Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, who was introduced by fellow Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman to recognize his long and outstanding service on Texas' highest court. Sylvia Orozco, Executive Director of the Mexic-Arte Museum, served as cultural speaker and informed attendees about the museum's efforts to build a new facility in downtown Austin, and showcased some of the artwork on display at the museum.
In 2011, HBAA welcomed the Austin legal and educational community for our 15th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon. Our planned keynote speaker, Gina M. Benavides, Justice of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, unfortunately had a family emergency and was unable to attend, but her and our good friend, Diane Henson, Justice of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas, stepped in and gave a wonderful speech on the intersection of law and sports as she described the work involved in implementing and enforcing Title IX to provide for equal access for women in college sports. Dan Arellano, a Texas historian and author involved in the placement of a Tejano monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol, provided a thoughtful discussion of the history of Tejanos in Texas and the 10-year-plus effort to finally place the monument on the Texas Capitol grounds.
The luncheon has featured a variety of distinguished keynote speakers in the past several years, including the following:
- 2015 - The Honorable Gina Benavides - Justice, 13th Court of Appeals of Texas
- 2014 - The Honorable Raul A. Gonzalez - Former Justice, Texas Supreme Court
- 2013 - Henry Cuellar - U.S. Congressman, 28th District of Texas
- 2012 - The Honorable Jimmie Reyna - Judge, U.S. Federal Circuit
- 2011 - The Honorable Diane Henson - Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals of Texas
- 2010 - The Honorable Eva Guzman - Justice, Texas Supreme Court
- 2009 - Julian Castro, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas
- The Honorable Bill Richardson - Former Governor, State of New Mexico
- The Honorable Alberto Gonzales - Former Texas Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Attorney General
- The Honorable Linda Reyna Yanez - Former Justice, 13th Court of Appeals
- The Honorable Edward Prado - Justice, 5th Court of Appeals
- Henry Cisneros - Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Tony Sanchez - Texas Gubernatorial Candidate
The luncheon also has featured a wide variety of cultural speakers over the years:
- 2015 - Margo Rey, Singer-Songwriter
- 2014 - Alisa Valdes, Author
- 2013 - Tish Hinojosa, Singer-Songwriter
- 2012 - Sylvia Orozco, Executive Director, Mexic-Arte Museum
- 2011 - Dan Arellano, Author
- 2010 - Carlos Cisneros, Author
- 2009 - Martin Espada, Poet and Essayist