Hero’s name: Josie Bacallao
Home city: Hollywood, Florida
Organization affiliation: Hispanic Unity of Florida
How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?
“Josie Bacallao is president and CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF), which works with immigrants and residents to become self sufficient and engaged in community affairs.
Prior to HUF, Josie was vice president and marketing director for the Sun-Sentinel Company and worked for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald as their vice president for marketing for more than 25 years.
Josie is a board member of CareerSource Broward, Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance and BB&T’s Advisory Board. She is a member of the Nonprofit Executive Alliance of Broward.
She also is past chair of the Board of the Broward Public Library Foundation and vice chair of Holy Cross Hospital and has been active in dozens of nonprofits since high school.
Josie has been honored with the Silver Medallion from NCCJ; she was named to the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame and received the United Way of Broward County’s Human Services Professional Award.
Most recently, Legal Aid and Service of Broward County bestowed the Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award on Josie and three other community leaders for their work in creating pro bono immigration clinics.
Josie also received one of the most meaningful awards of her career, The Jim Moran Foundation Award, for her work leading a nonprofit.
In 2015, the Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart recognized Josie and her contributions during Women’s History Month. His comments were added to the March 26, 2015 Congressional Record.
Hispanic Unity was recognized in 2016 with the Affiliate of the Year Award from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). In 20015, the agency was recognized with the Southeast Affiliate of the Year Award. NCLR is the largest Latino advocacy and civil rights organization in the country
Josie is married and she and her husband share their cottage with two cats Alicia Alonzo and Rafaela (Bella Ella).”
Honored by: Janet Murguia of NCLR
Note: This profile is part of Equal Voice News’ special Cesar Chavez Day Community Heroes edition. These submissions were edited for clarity.