Arizona Health Champion Award
All of Us UArizona-Banner's “Arizona Health Champion” award series aims to recognize health professionals, researchers, health educators, and community partners who are promoting health research, public health initiatives, diversity in research, and increased access to health programs and education for underserved communities.
Meet the July 2022 Awardee
Jesus “Chucho” Ruiz Vai Sevoi – Eudeve (Opata) Tlamanalcah is the son of Leonor and Juventino, partner of Maria Molina Vai Sevoi, and father of six children. Over the past 20 years, Chucho has transformed the lives of countless youth through a “La Cultura Cura” (The Culture Cures”) approach through grassroots organizing and youth engagement, and later as an employee of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC). Additionally, Chucho has served as a central facilitator of la tradición (the tradition) through his affirmation and maintenance of Nahua cultural practices and way of life, commitment to social justice, and obligation to the Tucson community. Chucho has served as a central facilitator of la tradición Nahua within the Calpolli Teoxicalli, a constellation of Nahua families in Tlamanalco, State of Mexico.
Chucho has always answered the call to meet the needs of the Chicana community as cultural advisor, authentic community leader, and “barrio intellectual.” Chucho has worked to create indigenous solidarity by building intertribal relationships with indigenous communities across Turtle Island. In the last seven years, Chucho has been intentional in engaging men and boys through his work, implementing “A Call to Men’s Live Respect Coaching Healthy Manhood” curriculum in several local high schools and collaborating with local organization Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, and specifically with Emerge’s Men Education Program, as a co-facilitator. Chucho founded the CHANTLACAH O.G. (Homies, Original Gente) talking circles and camp/gathering for young men/male-identified youth of color to discuss healthy masculinity. Chucho is the lead facilitator of A Call To Warriors, a monthly virtual community conversation series for Indigenous Men.