UCLR honors the lifelong contributions of John Florez and his many years of leadership, service, and advocacy in the Latino community.
A Utah native, John graduated from South High School and earned his Bachelor of Science in Sociology-Anthropology and Master of Social Work from the University of Utah. He began his professional career working for Salt Lake County Welfare, Head Start, and the Salt Lake Community Action Program. In 1969, John was recruited to work for the National Urban Coalition, mobilizing residents to address big-city issues of unemployment, healthcare, violence, and school dropout rates. From 1974 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1987, John was the Director of Equal Opportunity at the University of Utah and taught in the College of Social Work.
In 1980, John began working for U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. In 1989, John was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Labor Secretary for Employment and Training Administration. In 1991, John was appointed as the Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education. Returning to Utah in 1992, John continued his public service working on various boards and commissions, including working with Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini and serving on the Salt Lake City School Board. As a member of the Utah Industrial Commission, John worked to pass laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination, regulations prohibiting sexual harassment, and protections for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to his professional work, John always stayed engaged with local grassroots organizing and advocacy in the community. Over the years, John was instrumental in forming several Latino-focused organizations, including the Utah Migrant Council and SOCIO (Spanish-speaking Organization for Community Integrity and Opportunity), as well as the Central City Community Center. He championed the issues that affect marginalized communities, notably public housing, transit, and educational opportunities for all students. Many of these issues he opined on in his weekly column for the Deseret News, which he enjoyed writing for the past 13 years.
John received many accolades over his years, notably a Merit of Honor Award from the University of Utah Alumni Association and an honorary doctorate from Salt Lake Community College. Now, UCLR honors John Florez with the 2017 UCLR Lifetime Achievement Award.
Join UCLR as we honor John Florez and our other awardees at this year's Cesar Chavez Peace & Justice Awards Banquet!
The 24th Annual
Cesar Chavez Peace & Justice Awards Banquet
Saturday April 1, 2016
6pm - Social Hour
7pm - Dinner & Awards
Little America Hotel
500 S. Main Street
2017 Cesar Chavez Peace & Justice Awardees
Sen. Luz Escamilla
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award
For more information, visit our Cesar Chavez Page.
For information and to SPONSOR the event, click HERE.