The NCLR 2008 Alma Awards to air Friday, September 12 on ABC at 7c

Hosted by Eva Longoria Parker with Special Tributes to America Ferrera, Linda Ronstadt, Shakira, and Narciso Rodriguez.

The NCLR 2008 ALMA Awards taped a star-studded event on August 17 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. "The 2008 ALMA Awards" will air Friday, September 12 (7:00-9:00 p.m., CT), on the ABC Television Network. Eva Longoria Parker ("Desperate Housewives") hosted.

Kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month, the two-hour special is presented by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) - the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. The annual ALMA Awards recognizes and celebrates the outstanding artistic achievement of Latinos in film, television, and music.

America Ferrera was named Chevy Entertainer of the Year not only for her prominent role in the highly successful television series Ugly Betty, but also for her work off-screen as a leader inspiring young people around the country to participate in the political process. She has successfully used her well-deserved time in the spotlight to make a positive impact on others. She embodies the spirit of the ALMA Awards and NCLR - portraying a positive Latina character on television and displaying the strong diversity of our country.

BeBe Winans, Eden Espinosa, Wynonna Judd, Mariachi los Camperos de Nati Cano and Lucero performed to honor Linda Ronstadt who received the Trailblazer Award for her contributions to American music, inspiring artists across generations and musical genres. Shakira was presented with the Humanitarian Award for her work in early childhood education. During her presentation Shakira surprised 17-year-old Pamela Jimenez Cardenas by recognizing her advocacy efforts to support a global campaign for education. The Special Achievement in Outstanding Director of a Made-for-TV Movie was presented to Kenny Ortega for "High School Musical 2;"and the Special Achievement in Fashion went to Narciso Rodriguez.

Talent that participated included (in alphabetical order): Paula Abdul, Jessica Alba, Cheryl Burke, Kate del Castillo, Helio Castroneves, Cristián de la Fuente, Oscar De La Hoya, Placido Domingo, Zac Efron, America Ferrera, Daisy Fuentes, Selena Gomez, Jake & (David) Henrie, Terrance Howard, Mark Indelicato, Kym Johnson, MARIO, Joey Medina, Carlos Mencia, Enrique Murciano, Oscar Nunez, Edward James Olmos, Kenny Ortega, Ana Ortiz, Danny Pino, Tony Plana, Adam Rodriguez, Roselyn Sanchez, Ryan Seacrest, Jon Secada, Charlie Sheen, Taboo, Ashley Tisdale, Edyta Sliwinska, and Sofia Vergara.

Musical performances included the Cheetah Girls, Jon Secada & Brian McKnight, AB Quintanilla & The Kumbia All-Stars, Lisa Lisa and MARIO, Sergio Mendes, and Will.I.Am. Plus, Cheech and Chong performed as a prelude to their 25 year Reunion Tour. The ALMA Awards was created by NCLR in 1995 as part of its strategy to promote the diverse, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the media and the enhancement of the Latino image in the entertainment industry. The show is an example of how inclusion strengthens the entertainment industry, just as diversity strengthens our country.

The show is presented with the support of sponsors and advertisers. Presenting Sponsors for 2008 include Chevy, AT&T and Target. Gold Sponsors are Comcast, Johnson & Johnson, Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, and Prudential. Silver Sponsors include American Airlines, Bank of America, Bud Light, ConAgra Foods, L'Oreal, M&M's, McDonald's, State Farm Insurance Companies, Verizon, and Wachovia. Key media partners for the 2008 ALMA Awards include our Gold Level partners AOL Latino and MTV3, and our Silver Level partner Latina Magazine, People en Espanol, LATV and HOMBRE.

This year, the executive producers are Michael Levitt, Janet Murguía, Eva Longoria Parker, and David Chavez. For more information on the 2008 NCLR ALMA Awards®, please visit . The complete list of 2008 ALMA Award Winners are listed below:

Non-broadcast awards:

Outstanding Comedy Special - Tie win
"George Lopez: America's Mexican" (HBO)
"Alex Reymundo: Hick-Spanic Live in Albuquerque" (Showtime)

Outstanding Made - for TV Documentary
"American Experience: Roberto Clemente" (PBS)

Outstanding Career Achievement Award
David Wader, Stage Manager

Special Achievement Award - Outstanding Spanish Language Motion Picture
"La Misma Luna"

Outstanding Director of a Television Series
Linda Mendoza, "Betty's Baby Bump" on "Ugly Betty" (ABC)

Outstanding Female Performance in a Comedy Television Series
Judy Reyes - "Scrubs" (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Television Series
Julie Gonzalo - "Eli Stone" (ABC)

Outstanding Writing for a Television Series
Gloria Calderon Kellett, "How I Met Everyone Else" on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Television Series
Edward James Olmos - "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel)

Outstanding Performance in a Daytime Drama Series
Kamar de los Reyes - "One Life to Live" (ABC)

Telecast awards:

Chevy Entertainer of the Year
America Ferrera

NCLR ALMA Humanitarian Award

Trailblazer Award
Linda Ronstadt

Special Achievement in Fashion
Narciso Rodriguez

Special Achievement Award - Outstanding Director of a Made-for-TV Movie
Kenny Ortega, "High School Musical 2" (Disney Channel)

Outstanding Performance of a Latino/A-Led Ensemble in a Television Series
"Ugly Betty" (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Television Series
Roselyn Sanchez - "Without a Trace" (CBS)

Outstanding Male Performance in a Comedy Television Series
Charlie Sheen - "Two and a Half Men" (CBS)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Television Series
Jorge Garcia - "Lost" (ABC)

For further information, please go to .

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. NCLR created the ALMA Awards in 1995 as art of its strategy to promote fair, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry. The show was named "ALMA" (Spanish for "spirit" or "soul") which represents the determined spirit of the Latino people in an effort to reflect the spirit as well as the scope of the awards program.

For 40 years, NCLR has been promoting the advancement of Latino families in this country, creating opportunities and opening doors. The NCLR ALMA Awards are an integral part of that mission: a television entertainment special with a cause - to show how diversity strengthens our country and how inclusion strengthens the entertainment industry.

This year's NCLR ALMA Awards, hosted once again by Eva Longoria Parker, were taped on August 17 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. A dazzling array of stars including Paula Abdul, Jessica Alba, Helio Castroneves, the Cheetah Girls, Cristian de la Fuente, Oscar de la Hoya, Zac Efron, Terrence Howard, Wynonna Judd, MARIO, Carlos Mencia, Edward James Olmos, Roselyn Sanchez, Ryan Seacrest, Charlie Sheen, Ashley Tisdale, and Will.I.Am gathered to celebrate and honor Latino contributions in film, television, and music. Be sure to watch on September 12th for special tributes to some of the leading entertainers in all of show business including actress America Ferrera, fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, singer-songwriter Shakira, and the legendary Linda Ronstadt, who was presented with the Trailblazer Award by internationally renowned opera star Placido Domingo.

In recognition of this year's election, performers, presenters, and honorees wore red, white, and blue ribbons and participated in special segments during the show to encourage millions of ALMA viewers watching on television or reading about the Awards on the web to go out and vote this November.

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