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HOPE 31st Anniversary
Award Speaker Bios

2020 Ray of  HOPE Honoree

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Lourdes Castro Ramírez

Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency



California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Lourdes Castro Ramírez to serve as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency effective March 2, 2020. She is charged with leading and overseeing departments responsible for expanding affordable housing, designing comprehensive solutions to end homelessness, enforcing civil rights protections, regulating banking and financial services, strengthening consumer protections, and licensing nearly 4 million working professionals.


Secretary Castro Ramírez is dedicated to strengthening communities and building partnerships that improve housing, economic, educational and health opportunities for all. She has held notable and prominent positions including being appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority, and most recently as President of the University Health System Foundation in San Antonio. In all these positions she has advanced and improved affordable housing policies and programs. 

She is an accomplished executive dedicated to building partnerships and leading public, private and philanthropic efforts to improve community and system-level housing, health, business, economic and educational opportunities.


She is a 2020 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and a proud wife and mother of three children. 

Honoree Bios

2020 Spirit of HOPE Honoree

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Journalist, Anchor, & Managing Editor

Maria Hinojosa

Award-Winning Journalist & Author

Anchor and Executive Producer of NPR's Latino USA

President & Founder of Futuro Media

As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. She made that dream a reality in 2010 when she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create multimedia content from a POC perspective. Futuro does this in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world.


As the Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by PRX, as well as Co-Host of In The Thick, the Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a frequent guest on MSNBC.

Hinojosa’s nearly 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring the Emmy Award winning talk show from WGBH Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAHJ. She has been honored with her own day in October by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and has been recognized by People En Español as one of the 25 most powerful Latina women. Additionally, Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a PBS FRONTLINE report: “Lost in Detention” which aired in October 2011 and was the first to explore abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill as well as both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.

As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban communities on a national scale. During her eight years as CNN’s urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa often took viewers into communities rarely shown on television and continued that work longform on Now on PBS. At Futuro Media, Hinojosa continues to bring attention to experiences and points of view that are often overlooked or underreported in mainstream media, all while mentoring the next generation of diverse journalists to delve into authentic and nuanced stories. In 2018 she was a Fellow at Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a frequent speaker across the country. In 2019, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Journalist in Residence at her Alma Mater, Barnard College. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Special Guests

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Dr. Joseph Castro

President of California State University, Fresno | CSU Chancellor-Select

Joseph I. Castro is the first Californian to serve as president of California State University, Fresno. He is the grandson of immigrants from Mexico, son of a single mother and the first in his family to graduate from a university. Dr. Castro is a Professor of Educational Leadership and a gifted scholar in the fields of leadership and public policy who has mentored hundreds of other scholars and practitioners, including many other university presidents and senior officers.


Fresno State is a national leader in recruiting, supporting and graduating students from diverse backgrounds. In 2020, Fresno State was ranked No. 26 in the nation by Washington Monthly and recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top three best public national universities for graduation-rate performance five years in a row. The University was also ranked No. 40 in Money Magazine’s Best Public Colleges and No. 7 for Most Transformative College, described by the magazine as a school “where students beat the odds by doing better than would be expected from their academic and economic backgrounds.”


Prior to his appointment as President in 2013, he served for 23 years in the University ofCalifornia system. He was Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from 2006-13. UCSF is widely recognized as the leading health-sciences university in the nation. Dr. Castro led UCSF’s programs that served the academic and health-care needs of its talented and diverse students. Earlier in his career, he held faculty and/or administrative leadership positions at four other University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Barbara.


Dr. Castro received a B.A. in political science and an M.P.P. in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in higher-education policy and leadership from Stanford University. He has also successfully completed three advanced seminars on presidential leadership at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Dr. Castro serves on a number of boards, including the Lumina Foundation Board, WASC Senior College and University Commission, Mountain West Athletic Conference Board, Stanford University Graduate School of Education Advisory Council, James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award Selection Committee, College Football Playoff Board, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ Governing Board, and Jumpstart National Board.





Tania Leal

Meteorologist, Noticiero Telemundo 52 Los Angeles

Tania Leal is the Meteorologist for Telemundo 52’s weekday morning newscasts, Noticiero Telemundo 52 a las 5 a.m. y 6 a.m.  Telemundo 52 is Telemundo’s West Coast Flagship television station, delivering nearly 30 hours of local news and programming each week, more than any other Spanish-language station in Southern California, including breaking news, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, and entertainment. 


As part of the morning news team, Leal delivers the weather forecast and relevant news information to viewers in the region. 


Leal joined Telemundo 52 in 2018 as the Weather Anchor for the stations weekend newscasts, Noticiero Telemundo 52 a las 6 p.m. y 11 p.m. and in 2019 was named Meteorologist for the weekday morning newscasts.  Previously, she was the Weather Anchor for Telemundo 52’s sister station Telemundo 40 / KTLM which serves South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  Her experience also includes serving as a Weather Anchor for Televisa Noreste. 


Leal became an 3x Emmy Award winner in 2017 for Best Weather Anchor in Texas, the documentary “Beulah, El Desastre Que Cambio Al Valle” and Morning Daytime newscast. Leal is the first female weather anchor in the Hispanic market to receive an Emmy for Best Weather Anchor in Texas. 


She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and an associate degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and completed her certification in Meteorology from the Mississippi State University. Leal also serves as a broadcast ambassador for the American Meteorological Society’s Latinx Committee.


Follow Tania Leal on social media @tanialealtv 

Presenter Bios
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