The Vision Awards Gala

The Vision Awards Gala


Charter Oak Cultural Center’s
19th Annual
Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:30pm
Marriott Hartford Downtown

Join us for a magical evening at the Charter Oak Cultural Center’s 19th Annual Vision Awards Gala! Get out your dancing shoes, dust off your favorite outfit and mark Monday, May 11, 2020 on your calendar. Our Visions Award Gala has a well-earned reputation for being one of Hartford’s most fun parties, for being an inspirational night, and for being both warm and elegant.

This event is guaranteed to lift your spirits, nourish your heart and remind you of how wonderful it feels to be together – not just to party – but to support a good and noble cause.

The 2019 Gala Details…

Where: The Hartford Marriott Downtown
When: 5:30 PM

Tickets: $180

Online sales close Wednesday, May 8 at midnight. If you would like to attend the gala and have not yet RSVPed, please call (860) 310-2580 by Friday, May 10th at noon. We would love for you to join us!

Order online by clicking here. Please note online service fees apply.

To pay by check made payable to “Charter Oak Cultural Center”

Attn: Visions Gala
Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Our Sponsors:

Andrew J. and Joyce D. Mandell Family Foundation
Hartford Steam Boiler / Munich RE

For Sponsorship Information, please email

It will be a great night; all we need is you!

Our 2019 Vision Award Honorees

Mark Scheinberg,
Vision Award for Jewish Heritage

Mark Scheinberg is the founding president of Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. In this role, he has provided the leadership and financial support to convert a private career school into a nonprofit, four-year collegiate institution that he calls one for “the undiscovered student”. Goodwin’s innovative programs and services include a Summer Bridge program, concierge services for students, and flexible scheduling including blended and online coursework. The College does its best to accommodate its busy students through services such as a food pantry and diaper bank for those in need, counseling and advising, and academic support.

In recent years, the College has extended its mission by developing a magnet high school on its campus devoted to environmental science – the Connecticut River Academy. A second magnet school, The Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, opened in September 2013, providing prekindergarten and kindergarten instruction to children in the Greater Hartford region, free of charge to the families served.

Mr. Scheinberg has committed himself to serving the broader community with service on the board of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, and as a member of the Executive Board of the Connecticut Council of Independent Colleges and Connecticut Campus Compact. He has also served as president of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce and on the International Board of the Young Presidents Organization which recognized him in 2009 with the International Legacy Honor Award. Other awards Mr. Scheinberg has received include the 2009 DreamMaker’s Award from My Sister’s Place, the 2011 Paul Harris Award from the East Hartford Rotary Club, and the 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce. In April 2012, the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Chairman’s Award. In addition, Mr. Scheinberg was named one of Greater Hartford’s 50 Most Influential People of 2009 and 2010 in Hartford Magazine. In 2011, the Hartford Business Journal honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joe Young,
Vision Award for Arts & Education

Joseph Young Jr. is a nationally recognized African-American cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, writer, and educator, who runs the Hartford Animation & Film Institute (HAFI). Young is the president of Joe Young Studios, a 17 year old multimedia agency based in Hartford, CT, which provides arts programming to businesses and organizations. Specifically, JYS produces community art programs, books, videos, animated projects, graphic art, and conducts workshops in the performing arts.

Young is the creator of the 1990s Scruples comic strip. He is the writer and executive producer of Hartford’s first major homegrown book-to-film project, Diamond Ruff, nationally distributed in 2015 by Cinedigm Entertainment. Young is currently the President of Maurice Starr Entertainment/Joe Young! Studios headquartered in Hartford, CT, where he oversees many projects including the visual development of new boy band, NK5. He is also the Founder & Executive Director of the youth arts non-profit agency The Joe, Picture This Show/Hartford Animation and Film Institute. He is a former Guinness World Record Holder for creating the World’s Longest Comic Strip, which included the participation of thousands of Greater Hartford-based youth. In 1999 he received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award from the White House for volunteering his time in bringing the arts to otherwise access-less youth. He and his work has appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, The Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, CNN, the Black Family Channel and other national media outlets.

Dr. Mark Overmyer-Velázquez,
Vision Award for Social Justice

 The son of a Mexican immigrant and a scholar of Chinese religion and philosophy, Dr. Mark Overmyer-Velázquez is Professor of History and Latinx Studies and the 11th Campus Director of the University of Connecticut-Hartford. At UConn Hartford, he works to build bridges between our academic and city communities to support collaborative, engaged learning. The founding Director of UConn’s El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean & Latin American Studies, he trained at Yale University as a historian of Latin America and U.S. Latinos and has dedicated his research, teaching, and community activism to these intersecting fields. His latest book analyzes the historical experiences of people from Latin America and the Caribbean in their hemispheric and global diasporas. Global Latin(o) Americanos: Transoceanic Diasporas and Regional Migrations,  emerges from his work as a Fulbright Scholar examining the history of Peruvian migrants in Chile.

Former co-chair of the Latina/o Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association, he also edited the two volume, Latino America: State by State , which addresses the historical significance of the growing Latin(o) American population throughout the United States. He has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at universities in Mexico, Chile, and China and recently was Research Professor at the Leonel Fernández Center for Latin American Studies, Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II School of Human Rights and Political Science, University of Jordan, Amman.

He served on the Immigration and Detention Service Project as part of the UConn Law School’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. In that role, he provided translation and country condition reports as an expert witness for asylum clients at the York County, PA Prison.

The first Latinx elected official in West Hartford, in 2017 he concluded a six-year term as a member and Chairman of the West Hartford Board of Education. He currently serves on a number of Boards of Directors including, Connecticut Students for a Dream; Freedom University in Georgia; Hartford Public Library; Hartford Consortium for Higher Education; MetroHartford Alliance; iQuilt and is an Advisory Committee Member of the Capitol Region Council of Governments.

He lives in West Hartford and is the parent of three niña/os with his compañera, Jordanna Hertz. He keeps his commitment to the arts by playing keyboard in the UConn faculty band, Blues without Borders .

Connect with us on social media! Use these hashtags!
#charteroakarts #COCCVision19 and #CharterOakVision

* Online tickets sales will include the price of the ticket plus the online processing fee.