2018 Aguila Award Recipients
We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2018 Aguila Awards to be presented at Noche Bella on September 21, 2018. These renowned change makers are well known for their commitment to equity and for their determination to implement change to benefit communities across the state. We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate their leadership and passion at Noche Bella.
A founding member of PCUN, Ramon was elected President in April, 1997. Ramon serves on the Board of Director's of the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, Center for Social Inclusion, Farmworker Justice Fund, The Center for Popular Democracy and the United Farmworkers of America Foundation. Ramon is currently member of the Higher Education Coordinating Council for the State of Oregon. Ramon joined the Willamette Valley Immigration Project in 1977, handled immigrant visa cases until 1982, and coordinated the Immigration Project's fundraising and legislative work until 1985. Ramon is a co-funder of CAUSA, Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Coalition. Ramon is also involved in the Oregon Voter Registration and Education through ACCION POLITICA PCUNISTA.
Ramon was awarded the 2003 Leadership for a Changing World by the Ford Foundation, The Jeannette Rankin Award from the Social Justice Fund and is a Alston/Bannerman Fellow. Ramon was awarded the 2009 UTNE Reader 50 visionary of the world award and was Chosen Latino Hero of the year by Regency Blue Cross of Oregon. The University of Oregon chose Ramon as its 2015 Elder in Residents. In 2017, USA Today awarded Ramon with the “I am an American Award."
Nichole June Maher joined Northwest Health Foundation as president and CEO in August 2012. Under her guidance, NWHF has become a forerunner in equity nationally and a champion of supporting communities to improve health by building power. Previously, Nichole served as the executive director of Native American Youth and Family Center for 11 years, an organization which is widely recognized the most effective and innovative wrap-around family service model for Native Americans in the United States.
One of her most satisfying and impactful accomplishments has been co-founding the Coalition of Communities of Color, a powerful advocacy group in the state of Oregon and regionally. Nichole is proud of her Alaska Native heritage and her connection to Oregon’s rural communities. She is an active mother of three young children.
Mat dos Santos
Mat dos Santos is the legal director of the ACLU of Oregon. He currently oversees the legal program, which includes a docket of about 30 pieces of impact litigation and over 4,500 requests for legal assistance per year. He also oversees the ACLU of Oregon’s amicus program, which routinely files briefs in state and federal court on important issues of civil rights and civil liberties.
Prior to joining the ACLU of Oregon as the legal director, he worked with numerous organizations including the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Immigration Equality and the Transgender Law Center and represented a wide variety of clients in varying areas of civil rights litigation. His cases included successfully securing hormone treatment for transgender inmates in state custody; assisting with 9th Circuit appeals of refugees seeking asylum based on HIV status, gender identity, and sexual orientation; the representation of a Guantanamo Bay detainee held without charges; and, he contributed to amicus briefs in the same-sex marriage cases in state and federal court.