First Posted: Oct 04, 2013 10:19 PM EDT

(Photo : REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Mexican actress Salma Hayek was distinguished at the 2013 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala in Washington D.C., and took the opportunity to talk about Latino cultural stereotypes, the Huffington Post informed.

"If I could change something about our society thanks to this award it would be the way some people still perceive Hispanics," said the 47-year-old star. "I don't want them to see us as people who have come to this country just to receive because the truth is that Latinos have contributed to building the United States as well as the cultural and ethnic richness that characterizes it."

According to the Post, the "Grown Ups 2" actress wants to change the concept the society has about Latinos to a more positive one. Hayek would like people to no longer focus on "stereotypes of Latinos coming over to receive, but also to become part of a productive society and give of themselves."

Hayek is known for being a Latino rights advocate. Back in June, the actress refused to pre-record a video acceptance speech for the MTV Movie Awards, after she was told her category, Best Latin Actor, wouldn't be televised.

"If we Latins are not worth their time on television, why should they be worth mine?", she told InStyle Magazine, "we deserve better."

Hayek was nominated for her role as a Mexican cartel boss in 2012 film "Savages," directed by Oliver Stone. The star said she didn't care whether her speech was televised or not, but it did offended her that certain media continues to differentiate the Hispanic community from the rest of the American society. For Hayek, Latino artists deserve the same considerate and respectful treatment as everybody else.

"When they told me I (might win), I was asked to tape a message saying thank you. But the thing is, this particular award isn't televised," she said. Now, believe me, I am so grateful they acknowledge all of our great Latin performers, but I refused to tape the acknowledgement. If we Latins are not worth their time on television, why should they be worth mine? I think we deserve better than that, so I told them I wouldn't participate", said Hayek.

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