On December 1st, the Audubon Center at Debs Park was honored to host a Community Honoring event. This event was put together by Tongva Elder and community activist, Gloria Arellanes. Ms. Arellanes has long been known for her focus on local community issues and Chicana feminism. She created this community honoring and selects the honorees based on their community service and stewarship. The honorees chosen this year all do work to empower youth and benefit the communities they live in. This is the second year that the Audubon Center at Debs Park has been chosen to host this event which presents work that community members feel deserve acknowledgement. This Community Honoring celebrated notable individuals who have performed work that positively impacted the communities they live in.
This event recognized 6 honorees who have worked within their communities for positive change. Marcos and Minnie Aguilar, co-directors of Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory; Michelle Castillo; Anna Christensen, Co Founder and Board Member of the Protect the Long Beach/Los Cerritos Wetlands; Irene Montantes, Mother to two sons, Community Organizer and News Reporter; RobertJohn Knapp, respected community member and Elder; and our very own Center Director, Marcos Trinidad. Each honoree was introduced by a loved one. It was touching to see the honorees commitment to their communities through the eyes of those closest to them. Honorees were given the podium to speak on the importance of community and issues that are important to them. They honorees were presented with a gift basket made up of items donated by community members.
After the honoring, attendees were invited to participate in a potluck lunch. Atteendees and honorees were able to connect and discuss projects they've been working on. After the delicious potluck lunch, attendees were treated to performances by MorningStar Foundation Hummingbird Women's Drum, singer Kelly Caballero, and a dance by Anahuacalmecac Student Dance Group. It was exciting to see indigenous performers of all ages coming together to honor these 6 local community members and activists. The Audubon Center at Debs Park is honored to be invited to host this event for the second year in a row. "I think the energy and value that an event like this brings to the Center is really special. Often, we continue to work and build and provide as many opportunities to the community as possible. It's important that we pause sometimes and open up the Center to our community so they can hold an event like this and honor the important drivers of this work," said center director, Marcos Trinidad.