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UPDATEthis event is sold out.  Two sessions on Oct. 30  will be live streamed 1-2:45 p.m.:  (select “University/Academic Events”). See:


Jonathan Kozol, author and public education advocate, and Juan Felipe Herrera, United States Poet Laureate, will speak at the California Latino Leadership Education Summit Oct. 29 and 30 at Fresno State.

The summit, which is sold out with more than 300 participants, will draw Latino leaders and others from throughout the state, including California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White and several college administrators.

It begins on Thursday with a reception from 6-8 p.m. in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room of the Henry Madden Library, and it continues from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, in the Satellite Student Union.

Presented by Fresno State and the California Latino Leadership Network, which includes the University’s Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association, the event’s purpose is “Ensuring Educational Success and Equity for All Students in the Central San Joaquin Valley: Solving Inter-Segmental Issues.”

Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso also will speak at the summit.

The participants will share model programs that focus on the unique needs of San Joaquin Valley students, with a focus on Latino students who make up the largest K-12 population in the region, said Joel Murillo, chair of the California Latino Leadership Network.

“For the first time at Fresno State, education and community leaders will convene on campus to address important issues facing our communities such as the disproportionate dropout rate for all students who are from low-income households,” Murillo said.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro notes that, in the past 50 years, Fresno State has emerged as a national leader in enrolling and graduating Latino students.

“This summit is one of many shining examples of the progress this institution has made in serving the Latino community throughout the Valley and beyond,” Castro said. “Our alumni are successfully and boldly contributing as leaders in our communities. This event brings many of those leaders back to campus to continue collaborating on our common goals.”

Following the opening reception, Dr. Luis Santos, vice president for the  Higher Education Policy and Practice at the Education Trust, will link national research to the theme of the summit.

Kozol, who delivers the opening keynote at 7 p.m. Thursday, received the National Book Award for “Death at an Early Age,” the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for “Rachel and Her Children,” and other honors for “Savage Inequalities,” “Amazing Grace” and “Fire in the Ashes.”

Herrera, who was named the nation’s 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in June, follows with a poetry reading at 7:15 p.m.  before Castro delivers closing remarks at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, moderators Paula Castadio, Fresno State’s vice president for University Advancement, and Murillo will open the day’s sessions.

Reynoso, professor of law emeritus at University of California, Davis, will provide historical context of the California Latino Leadership Network at 8:15 a.m.

Santos will moderate a panel that includes Castro; Dr. Dorothy Leland, chancellor of UC Merced; Dr. Rosa Flores Carlson, president of Porterville Community College; Dr. Horace Mitchell, president of California State University, Bakersfield;  Dr. Joseph F. Sheley, president of California State University, Stanislaus; and  Arnoldo Avalos, board of governor for California Community Colleges.

The college presidents also will discuss “Pipeline Initiatives in the Central San Joaquin” followed by White discussing “California State University Challenges and Initiatives.”

Other 40-minute sessions will address such topics as educational inequity, college access and completion rates, statistical profile of education in the Valley and higher education initiatives.

Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, will lead a panel of K-12 leaders discussing initiatives.

Researchers will present data that is unique to the Valley.

The Summit Colloquium for Action session will examine “breakthrough ideas for collective action that address problems and advocate for change in policies and practices in the education of students of color, especially Latino students, in the Central San Joaquin Valley” before the summit summary at 4:30 p.m.

The recommendations will be compiled into a roadmap for Valley educational institutions. See the full agenda and speakers list with workshop times at Follow the summit at California Latino Education Summit 2015 and #LatinoEd15.

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