"Another word that can be used to describe him is 'trailblazer'. He is in the same category as Cesar Chavez. He is in the same grouping as Edward Roybal in our community. Dionicio Morales was the trailblazer. It because of him that I continue to build AltaMed to where it's rated by your magazine as the number one nonprofit in the United States
"The things that I remember mostly about him is that he was a tireless leader and advocate for a just and humane immigration policy, fair access and equality in education and employment, just a tireless leader. He is going to be deeply missed. He is one of the great leaders in our community, and to me, he has been a true inspiration."
GEORGE PLA, CEO Cordoba Corp.
"Mr. Dionicio Morales was a true "Trailblazer" in our community. He was very much like Cesar Chavez in the urban cities. He stood alone. Always fighting for people who had no voice. He worked for education and workforce development in the 1970's that set the standard for today. My greatest memory of Dionicio is that great smile and twinkle in his eye as I shared my vision with him of Cordoba Corporation. I thank his family for sharing him with our community."
MARIA CONTRERAS-SWEET, Founder-Chairwoman of the Board Promerica Bank
"Dionicio Morales began with no economic advantage and yet he grew to become one of our community's champion of champions. When we look around and evaluate who our leaders are, we notice in large part most of us have been touched by Dionicio in some way.
"As I think about what he's done for our community, for women, he began to recognize women before others did and began to included us as equal partners.
"When I think about corporate America, so many of us had a disdain for the business community. And he understood that working in a partnership with the business community we could gain more for our community. As it relates to our political leaders, he was able to access the highest levels and inspire people at the grass roots.
"Dionicio will be remembered by all of us, by all of us, as a person who saw everybody as a possibility and recognized the potential we had to offer. He did everything he could to harvest that potential. That is what MAOF is about. He grew it to become of one of the most all-encompassing, nationally recognized institutions for our community in the country. As I said, with no economic advantage, he grew it to become one of the largest family-service organizations in the country.
"Not only is it important for its programmatic success and prowess, but also again because of the qualitative aspects of the programs; he made sure that our seniors were able to connect with the children. He gave vitality to our seniors. He allowed them to meet with the children in the childcare center. So he found something for all the ages of his organization. For the children, he had childcare programs. For the youth, he had training programs for the adults, he had programs to help them improve their homes and gave them a sense of pride. And, as I said, for our seniors, he gave them jobs. And what we all remember is the wonderful, beautiful trips to Mexico. And his sense of pride for Mexico.
"If I had only one thing to say about Dionicio M, it would be that he was proud to be of Mexican descent. And he always told us that instead of marginalizing ourselves and calling ourselves Hispanic or Latino, that we should be proud to be Mexican-Americans. And we shod say it. He recognized that everyone has a talent, but he said remember that there is pride in being a Mexican American, and he always reminded us about the contributions that Mexicans Americans made to the world.
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