daniel hernandez

Daniel Hernandez

Photo courtesy of: Multicultural Programs

hernandez daniel book cover

The cover of the Daniel Hernandez book "They call me a hero"

Photo courtesy of: Multicultural Programs

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Daniel Hernandez Jr. to discuss growing up poor, gay and Hispanic

Hispanic Heritage Month speaker saved congresswoman's life

Author Daniel Hernandez Jr. will talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 in the Baker University Center Theatre about his difficult journey overcoming discrimination in language, ethnicity, poverty and sexual orientation, and why he loves being an American.

Recent political actions in Arizona have portrayed the state as a haven for intolerance. Hernandez's powerful story —the rise of a gay Hispanic hero in an environment that is sometimes hostile— offers Americans lessons for the future as diversity increases in the United States.

Hernandez is a native of Tucson, Ariz., and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2012 with a degree in political studies. During his studies he served as a congressional intern to former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. While attending a constituent event on Jan. 8, 2011, there was an attempted assassination on Giffords' life in which 19 people were shot.

Hernandez is credited with saving Giffords' life because of his medical training, quick thinking and brave actions that day. He has earned nearly 40 awards and honors for his actions during the 2011 Tucson shooting, but rejects the title of American hero.

He addressed U.S. President Barack Obama and a crowd of more than 27,000 people at the Tucson shooting's memorial service on Jan. 12, 2011. That year he also was an honored guest of the Obamas at the State of the Union address.

He has appeared in many national and international news outlets, including the Today Show, the Rachel Maddow Show and the Fox Report. Hernandez is dedicated to student advocacy and political activism.

The Office of Multicultural Programs, Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB) and the Senate Appropriations Commission (SAC) are sponsoring the free and open to the public event.

The Office of Multicultural Programs focuses all of its programs and activities on intercultural teaching and learning. It provides a place where members of the university community, representing a variety of backgrounds, can participate in programs and activities. All programming is designed to increase human understanding through the study and expression of culture.