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María DeCastro Blake 
Community Service Award
2008 Honoree

William Q. Sánchez
Executive Producer of Images/Imágenes and the NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase

William Q. Sánchez is the award-winning executive producer/director of Images/Imágenes, NJN's cultural and public affairs program which has the distinction of being the longest running minority series on any public broadcasting system in the country. Sánchez was also director of the Emmy Award-winning Sembrando El Futuro (Seeding the Future), an NJN series that taught parenting skills to Latinos.

A graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Sánchez has been with NJN since 1979. Since then, he has held a number of positions in addition to his producing and directing responsibilities, including scriptwriter. He has developed Images/Imágenes into a vital and entertaining program that chronicles the issues and events that affect the Hispanic community.

Sánchez has received several Emmy Award nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, with Images/Imágenes earning the network’s first New York Emmy Award in 1985. He is also the creative and motivating force behind the NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase, an annual program that gives Hispanic youths throughout the Garden State an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate their talents and win scholarships. In the year 2000, this program received its first Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award following three years of Emmy nominations. The Arts Council Co-op regards the Showcase as one of the top six children’s programs in the nation.

Sánchez believes strongly in being involved in his community and has won many community service awards, including ASPIRA's Civic Award and the Human Rights Commission Award. Before coming to NJN, he founded the Newark Street Theater Ensemble and traveling dance troupe, Alma Boricua. In 1995, Sánchez was named a Distinguished Rutgers Latino Alumnus. In 1996, he received the Excellence in Hispanic Leadership Award by the NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Center for Hispanic Policy. In 1998, he was selected as the distinguished man of the year award by La Tribuna, one of the largest and oldest Spanish daily newspapers in the metropolitan area. That same year, he was also honored as the Grand Marshall of the 36th annual Statewide Puerto Rican Parade in New Jersey.

In the year 2000, the prestigious International Latin Music Hall of Fame honored Mr. Sánchez for his contributions to Latin music. Some of Sánchez’s historical programs on Latin music have been seen in South America, the Caribbean and Europe. In 2001, he was honored with the United Way of Essex and West Hudson Miracle Workers Award and FOCUS Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Sánchez received an honorary doctors degree from Essex County College and in 2005 received a community service award from the State of New Jersey. Over the last ten years, Sánchez has received recognitions from President Clinton, US Congress, NJ Legislature, two NJ Governors and national recognition by the National Golden Age Awards. He also received community service awards from the FBI, DEA, the National Resource Center For Hispanic Mental Health and was honored with a Doctor of Letters Degree from Essex County College as well as Outstanding Community Contributor Award recognitions by Trenton City Council and New Jersey City University.

Information courtesy of NJN – New Jersey Public Television and Radio


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