The Define American Awards - Define American

Define American Awards

The Define American Awards honors progress made in empowering and elevating
the voices of immigrants, both documented and undocumented.

Journalist of the Year

Isha Aran, Splinter News. Aran has used her passion for multimedia to explore the themes of migration and our changing American identity. Her cultural commentary has contributed to countless important media conversations.

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Ally of the Year

Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America. Hogue represents the ideals of intersectional feminism, and has spent her career organizing grassroots support around social justice issues. In her powerful work at NARAL, she has emphasized the importance of supporting immigrants’ rights while fighting for reproductive freedom.

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Artist of the Year

Las Cafeteras constructs their music as a tool for creating positive change and inspiring others to do so. Their newest album, Tastes Like L.A. offers a powerful counterpoint to the current dominant news narrative, while encouraging people of all backgrounds to cherish both what makes them unique and what unites them all. Over the past decade, Las Cafeteras have demonstrated that in art as in life, borders are meant to be crossed.

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Chapter of the Year

In true Define American spirit, the Sacramento State chapter kicked off the year with a photo gallery highlighting undocumented and mixed status students at their school. Throughout the rest of the year, the chapter held events creating dialogue on immigration and politics, hosted several actions supporting the Dream Act, and brought community organizers and experts to their campus to provide undocumented students with the information and tools they need. Members of the chapter also went out to the California capitol to support AB21, a bill that protects undocumented students on campus, which passed. They were also in attendance at the Define American Chapters Summit in Lincoln, NE.

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Most Welcoming Spirit

Philadelphia, PA, the City of Brotherly Love hosted nearly 50 truly memorable gatherings during Welcoming Week 2017. The passion for inclusion infused Caribbean Open Mic Competitions, Holocaust Survivor Storytelling, Multicultural Media Roundtables, and Soccer! To learn more about how your community can be recognized as “the most welcoming,” visit

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