The conference was a series of forums, workshops and seminars on the theme, Defend Democracy: Aquí y Ahora, and designed for young people, according to a news release.
Haaland also participated in a panel on health, environment and immigration.
“I see it as my duty to leave the ladder down behind me so young women and girls of color know they can be anything they want to be, and I will be here to help them climb that ladder,” the Democrat who represents New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District said in a statement.
“William Velasquez was a trailblazer, he broke down barriers to the ballot box and organized to improve the lives of farmworkers,” she said.
Haaland’s award celebrates her achievements as one of the first Native American women in Congress, as well as her leadership positions in the freshman class of the 116th Congress and the House Committee on Natural Resources, organizers said.
“Deb’s track record working to represent communities of color in New Mexico is proof of her passion and willingness to create platforms for unheard communities to rise,” said Cindy Nava, chief administrative officer of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.
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