Miguel De La Torre Named Michigan's
Posted September 24, 2002
HOLLAND -- Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre of the Hope
College religion faculty has been named the 2002 recipient
of the "Outstanding Hispanic Educator" award by the Michigan
Hispanic Legislative Caucus.
De La Torre, an assistant professor of religion,
will be recognized on Wednesday, Sept. 25, during the
Hispanic Heritage Dinner being held at the Lansing Center.
The event is scheduled in conjunction with national Hispanic
Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
De La Torre has been active both nationally and
locally in promoting issues dealing with the Latino
He has recently finished a term where he was the
only Latino serving on the editorial board of the "Journal
of Religious Ethics." From 2000 to 2001 he served as
elected vice president of La Comunidad, an academic
organization which meets during the American Academy of
Religion to advance the needs and concerns of Latina/o
scholars within academia. From 1999 to 2001 he was the only
Latino on the "Committee for the 21st Century" of the
Society of Christian Ethics. He also founded and organized
"Etica Latina: A Hispanic Ethical Perspective," an interest
group for the Society of Christian Ethics.
Locally, De La Torre is secretary of Tulipanes:
the Latino Art and Film Festival, and the past vice
president of Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP). He
also writes a bi-monthly column rooted in the Latino social
context for "The Holland Sentinel."
Recent volunteer activities include serving as a
facilitator for the education portion of the first annual
Holland Latino Leadership Conference, held this month, and
serving on the Hate Crimes Response Council for the City of
Holland. He has helped organize events including the third
annual Cesar Chavez festival, and helped in the planning of
the Holland Race Summit.
He has served as a keynote speaker, both locally
and nationally, for numerous business, civic and religious
groups, in addition to preaching at the invitation of local
De La Torre's scholarly works include three books
published within the past year: "The Quest for the Cuban
Christ: A Historical Search" (University Press of Florida),
"Reading the Bible from the Margins" (Orbis Books) and
"Introducing Latino/a Theologies" (Orbis Books). He has
also written six book chapters and eight articles published
in professional journals since coming to Hope.
He has four other books enroute to publication:
"La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of
Miami" (University of California Press), "Santeria: The
Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America" (Wm.
B. Eerdmans Publishing), "Handbook of U.S. Theologies of
Liberation" (Chalice Press) and "Doing Ethics from the
Margins" (Orbis Books).
De La Torre joined the Hope faculty in 1999. He
was previously an instructor at Temple University for four
years, and prior to that had been an adjunct instructor at
Boyce Bible College. He has also been a visiting professor
at West Chester University, Immaculata College, Rutgers
University and Fuller Theological Seminary.
He holds a doctorate and master of arts degree in
religion from Temple University; a master of divinity degree
from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a master of
public affairs degree from American University. He
completed his undergraduate degree in political science at
Florida International University.
The Michigan Hispanic Legislative Caucus also
presents awards in the arts, business and economic
development, civic involvement, and youth leadership, and
for lifetime achievement. Those being recognized during the
dinner include six award recipients and five high school-age
Of the total of 11 people being honored on Sept.
25, four are from Holland. In addition to De La Torre, the
local honorees include Lupita Reyes, recipient of the
Outstanding Hispanic Lifetime Achievement award, and
scholarship recipients Efrain Munoz and Diana Vargas. Munoz
and Vargas, students at Holland High School, are both
participants in the Hope College Upward Bound Program.