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Base Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

Sylvia Mendez, American civil rights activist, was the guest speaker at the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. She is the daughter of Gonzalo Mendez, a Mexican immigrant, and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant, who sued the city when their children were denied enrollment in the all-white school near their home in Orange County, Calif. Their 1947 victory in a landmark court case, set legal precedent ending segregation. The luncheon was hosted jointly by The Aerospace Corporation Hispanic Advisory Council, LAAFB/SMC Hispanic American Group and Aerospace Veterans West.  (Photo by Joe Juarez)

Sylvia Mendez, American civil rights activists, was the honored guest speaker at the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. Ms. Mendez' parents sued the city when their children were denied enrollment in the all-white school near their home in Orange County, Calif. Their 1947 victory in a landmark court case, Mendez v. Westminster, et al, set legal precedent ending segregation not only in California but in the United States. (Photo by Joe Juarez)

(seated at table, right to left) El Segundo’s Mayor Kelly McDowell, Space and Missile Systems Center’s Command Chief Master Sergeant Stephen Ludwig, and The Aerospace Corporation’s CEO Dr. Wanda Austin enjoy the performance by members of Salsabor Y Cache, internationally known salsa dance company, during the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. The luncheon was hosted jointly by The Aerospace Corporation Hispanic Advisory Council, LAAFB/SMC Hispanic American Group, and Aerospace Veterans West.  (Photo by Joe Juarez)

(seated at table, right to left) El Segundo’s Mayor Kelly McDowell, Space and Missile Systems Center’s Command Chief Master Sergeant Stephen Ludwig, and The Aerospace Corporation’s CEO Dr. Wanda Austin enjoy the performance by members of Salsabor Y Cache, internationally known salsa dance company, during the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. (Photo by Joe Juarez)

Performance by Salsabor Y Cache, internationally known salsa dance company, entertains the audience during the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. The luncheon was hosted jointly by The Aerospace Corporation Hispanic Advisory Council, LAAFB/SMC Hispanic American Group, and Aerospace Veterans West.  (Photo by Joe Juarez)

Performance by Salsabor Y Cache, internationally known salsa dance company, entertains the audience during the 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon held at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14. (Photo by Joe Juarez)

LOS ANGELES AFB -- The 2008 Hispanic Heritage month luncheon was celebrated with fine Mexican cuisine and festive music and colors at the Gordon Conference Center, Oct. 14.

Honored guest speaker was Sylvia Mendez, American civil rights activists, whose parents Gonzalo Mendez, a Mexican immigrant, and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant, set legal precedent when they won the landmark court case, Mendez v. Westminster, et al, ending segregation not only in California but in the United States. The Mendez filed suit against the city when their children were denied enrollment in the all-white school near their home in Orange County, Calif. Ms. Mendez continues the work her parents began, promoting equal educational awareness throughout the world.

The audience enjoyed the performance by members of Salsabor Y Cache, internationally known salsa dance company. Singer/songwriter Priscilla Luviano sang Latino songs on her eighth-year visit to the celebration.

The luncheon was hosted jointly by The Aerospace Corporation Hispanic Advisory Council, LAAFB/SMC Hispanic American Group, and Aerospace Veterans West.