May 26, 2022, New York City – The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) Board of Directors announced honorees and special tributes for the organization’s 65th Annual celebration, taking place on New York City’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday, June 12th. Leading the procession as Grand Marshal will be U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. A Connecticut native born to Puerto Rican parents, the NPRDP honors Secretary Cardona for his commitment to ensuring equitable and meaningful educational opportunities for all students of color calling for increased cultural awareness and competency in schools through the country. Under his leadership, the U.S. Department of Education approved use of nearly $4 billion as part of the American Rescue Plan fund to rebuild the school system, which was impacted by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, the NPRDP celebrates Puerto Rican history, culture and achievement across all facets of society, spanning art, science, education, public service, entertainment, commerce, and more.
“For 65 years, this Parade has served as a platform to unite our community while showcasing the best of Puerto Rican culture and achievement to New York and the world,” said NPRDP Board Chair, Louis Maldonado. “The themes, tributes and causes highlighted during each annual celebration recognize the community’s resiliency while galvanizing the 8 million Puerto Ricans on the island and across the U.S. to address issues of importance to our collective community.”
Joining Secretary Cardona in leading the procession is Nicky Jam, honored as the 2022 King. Born Nick Rivera Caminero, Nicky Jam is an award-winning urban musical singer and songwriter. Since the age of 10, he showed an interest in urban music, performing raps and improvisations with his friends. Since then, he has won numerous awards in the entertainment and music recording industries, including multiple Latin GRAMMYs, Premios Billboard, and Premios Lo Nuestro, among others. In addition to his tremendous success, Nicky Jam has repeatedly supported philanthropic and humanitarian, from raising money to help at-risk and vulnerable children succeed in life to offering aid and relief to victims of natural disasters in Puerto Rico and various countries in Latin America. He will join the Parade procession up Fifth Avenue on top of La X96FM EL RITMO DE NEW YORK’S float.
GRAMMY-nominated recording artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Fat Joe, will be honored as Padrino (Godfather). The Bronx native has bridged the intersection of hip-hop and Latin music and amassed several multiplatinum studio albums, mixtapes, singles and collaborations, including “Lean Back,” “What’s Luv,” “Make It Rain,” and “All the Way Up,” among countless others. Most recently in January 2022, Joe teamed up with the New York City Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to create the Bronx Relief Fund and raise over $1 million for families impacted by the tragic Bronx apartment fire at Twin Parks North-West.
Joining the procession with the title of Madrina (Godmother) will be radio personality and 2020 Radio Hall of Fame Inductee, Angie Martinez. Martinez is known as “The Voice of New York” and considered to be the reigning queen of radio. With nearly 20 years of on-air experience, the Power 105.1 host is also an author, actress, television host, recording artist, brand spokesperson and activist for youth and health awareness.
Participating in the 2022 Parade procession will be members of the most iconic Latin American boy band in history, Menudo, who will be celebrating the world premiere of the original documentary HBO Max’s MENUDO: FOREVER YOUNG at the Tribeca Film Festival, the night before the Parade. Representing the various generations of the musical group will be Cesar Abreu, Ray Acevedo and Ralphy Rodriguez. The Puerto Rican diaspora in New York and across the U.S. played a critical role in the success of Menudo and its crossover in the US, so it’s befitting that former members of Menudo will participate in this year’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade. The four-part Max Original documentary, from filmmakers Ángel Manuel Soto (Max Original “Charm City Kings”) and Kristofer Ríos (“Havana Skate Days”), debuts with all episodes on Thursday, June 23 on HBO Max.
Cause Initiative to Combat Climate Action In 2022, the Parade will underscore the need for climate action by raising awareness of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to the UN, the Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, and Parade programming will call attention to the impact of climate change on Puerto Rico and diaspora communities across the country. The most profound example of this is the widespread devastation inflicted on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria in 2017, from which the island is still recovering. Additionally, numerous other storms have had serious impact on large Puerto Rican communities across several states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, and others. The Parade TV broadcast and live stream will inform audiences on the need for active participation in the UN’s 2030 Agenda to protect our homeland and communities everywhere.
Special Tributes to El Yunque and the Puerto Rican Parrot
El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, spanning over 28,000 acres in northeast Puerto Rico. A national treasure and cultural symbol since the time of the indigenous Taíno people, El Yunque is known for its spectacular beauty and rich biological diversity. The Puerto Rican parrot is the island’s only native breed of parrot. The breed’s numbers have drastically declined – to the point of near extinction – due to increasing deforestation and habitat loss. Despite decades of conservation efforts that have significantly helped its recovery, the Puerto Rican Parrot is still classified as an endangered species. Like El Yunque, this national treasure is now vulnerable due to the
ongoing threat of climate change. The NPRDP pays special tribute to El Yunque and the Puerto Rican parrot to discuss the cultural significance of each and encourage support for efforts that aim to protect and preserve them.
Posthumous Honorees: Bobby Capó and Roberto Clemente
2022 marks milestone anniversaries in the legacies of two legendary Puerto Rican luminaries: 100 years since the birth of Bobby Capó and 50 years since the death of Roberto Clemente. Capó was an internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, television host and musical director who ballads were loved in Puerto Rico, Latin America and across the world. His distinguished career in both Puerto Rico and New York City produced beloved songs that have been translated to multiple languages and sung by the likes of GRAMMY Award-winning singer, Eydie Gormé and pioneering French entertainer, Josephine Baker.
Roberto Clemente, a multiple MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion, is still considered by many to be the greatest right-fielder of all time. His success on the field was matched by his good works off the field. Clemente was a vocal activist that called for equal treatment in Major League Baseball, and he often delivered baseball equipment and food to impoverished communities in need. On December 31, 1972, he died in a plane crash at the age of 38 while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The NPRDP celebrates their memories and accomplishments, naming each 2022 posthumous honorees.
Additional Honorees for 2022
The NPRDP is proud to announce the following individuals that will also be honored in 2022:
· Lifetime Achievement – Michael Carabello percussionist and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Inductee
· Orgullo Puertorriqueño – Jesús Omar Rivera “El Boricuazo”
· Trailblazer – Robin De Jesús, Tony Award-nominated theatrical and film actor
· Athlete of the Year – Jasmine Camacho Quinn, Gold medalist
· Rising Star – Didi Romero, singer, actress, YouTube star
· Rising Star – Luis Figueroa, multi-talented Puerto-Rican Singer-Songwriter
· Ambassador – Edward Cabán, NYPD Deputy Commissioner
· Ambassador – Damian Priest, WWE Superstar
· Ambassador – Hector Collazo Hernández, artist that has painted the flag across Puerto Rico
· Ambassador – David Rodríguez, broadcast journalist for Telemundo Channel 47 in New York
· Ambassador – PJ Sin Suela, rapper, physician and activist
· Ambassador – Xochitl González, Nuyorican culture critic, screenwriter, producer and author of the New York Times bestselling novel Olga Dies Dreaming…”
The NPRDP Board of Directors thanks the following sponsors and media partners for their support in making the 65th Annual celebration possible: Corona, Manhattan Beer Distributors, the Walt Disney Company and ABC7 New York, 1199 SEIU, Acacia Network, BronxCare Health System, City University of New York, the Coca-Cola Company, DoorDash, HBO Max, Liberty Coca-Cola, the Mets Foundation, Miranda Family Fund, Montefiore, NBC4 and Telemundo New York, Pepisco, Pfizer, Popular Bank,
Rainbow Apparel, Supermercados Econo, United Federation of Teachers, Univision, Verizon and Walmart Puerto Rico.
June 12 Parade and TV Broadcast
The 65th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade will take place on New York City’s Fifth Avenue from 43rd Street to 79th St, Sunday June 12, beginning at 11am. The celebration will be broadcast live on WABC-TV, Channel 7, starting at noon EDT. The Parade will also be broadcast on the ABC affiliated station in Puerto Rico, Telecinco (Channel 5) and streamed on the station’s website, abc7NY.com, and on the station’s free news and connected TV apps on Amazon FireTV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku. For more information about the Parade and the NPRDP Scholarship Program, visit www.nprdpinc.org.