By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Online registration is now open for the annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days Summit IX, better known as LEAD Summit IX, set for March 29 at Cal State San Bernardino.
With the theme “¡Viva La Mujer!” honoring women, the free conference brings together teaching professionals and educators, researchers, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, civic leaders, activists and advocates.
The summit, which averages 1,300 attendees annually, will feature panel discussions on topics such as “Latina Leadership in Higher Education,” “Latina Pathways in P-20 Systems & Beyond: Answering the Call,” and the summit capstone presentation, “VIVA LA MUJER: Nosotras Las Madrinas,” which will be offered by past and current honorary chairpersons of LEAD events, all strong advocates/activists themselves, who have made significant contributions to the community.
To that end, the summit’s honorary chairs, or madrinas de honor, for 2018 are sisters and longtime community leaders Gloria Macías Harrison and Marta Macías Brown. They are San Bernardino natives (both graduates of San Bernardino High School), civic advocates, and lifelong activists who among many achievements and decades’ work in community rights, education and politics; are credited for helping create and grow the El Chicano newspaper. It was founded in 1968 under the auspices of the University of California, Riverside, by a group of community leaders from San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Gloria Macías Harrison served as president of Crafton Hills College for 12 years and as vice president of instruction for six. She taught for 20 years at San Bernardino Valley College and was dean of humanities for three. She retired in 2011 and was elected to the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees in 2012.
Marta Macías Brown was also a founding member of the first United Mexican American Student chapter, a precursor to the Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, or MEChA, at California State University, San Bernardino. She taught at community college, served as a community education specialist for San Bernardino County as a director of Information and Referral Services, and a student affirmative action officer at the University California, Riverside. She also served as press secretary and administrative assistant to the late Congressman George E. Brown, Jr., whom she married in 1989. She is now active in the preservation of her husband’s congressional papers on science and technology, conservation, energy and civil rights through the Brown Legacy Project at UCR.
In addition, Mia St. John, the five-time world and international boxing champion and activist, and her daughter, Paris St. John, will give keynote addresses along with Hermila “Mily” Treviño-Sauceda, vice-president and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc., and advocacy group for women farmworkers.
“Albeit, our communities’ and nation’s strengths continue to depend, to a large extent, on the positive educational outcomes of Latino students (in general), it is the educational attainment of Latina females (in particular), that is essential to our well-being and success,” said Enrique G. Murillo Jr., founder and executive director of LEAD and professor of education at CSUSB, in explaining the focus of this year’s summit. “Latinas make up one in five women in the United States, one in four female students in public schools, and by 2060 are predicted to form nearly one-third of the total female population. Simply, Latinas define the future — as few factors better predict a student’s educational outcomes than the education of his or her mother.
“Yes — Latinas have made significant progress in a number of areas of education and well-being over the last decade, and currently Latino males are faring more poorly than their female counterparts,” Murillo said. “Latinas are also incredibly entrepreneurial, as the number and rate of Latina-owned businesses has increased eight times that of men-owned businesses. Yet progress has been extremely slow and Latinas are faring much more poorly than their counterparts from other ethic/racial groups, still earning less in the labor market (earning less than 60 cents for every dollar a white man earns for the same job), have the least access to health care of any group of women, and are still more likely to live in poverty and as single heads of households.”
In addition, this year there will be four related events that will make up LEAD Week along with the annual summit:
- March 26: Binational Parent Leadership Institute (BPLI) Colloquium, at the offices of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools;
- March 27: Catholic School Expo and Career Day III, at the CSUSB Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center;
- March 28: Puente Student Leadership Forum III, at the Doubletree Hilton in San Bernardino; and
- March 31: Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Breakfast VII, at the CSUSB Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.
Now in its ninth year, LEAD serves as a primary site for a set of innovative and productive programs, publications and events for Latinos and education. These projects involve significant participation of faculty, students and administrators, as well as partnerships in the region and nationally.
The projects also create strong interactive connections with Latino networks in the U.S., as well as Latin Americans and Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas and the world, many whom are already in contact with LEAD personnel and the university.