NMSU hosts Critical Conversations speaker series to address diversity issues

September 2, 2011 by Minerva Baumann, NMSU News Center

Why does diversity matter? A speaker series at New Mexico State University will open a discussion about the differences that divide and unite various communities.

The first two speakers of the series, called Critical Conversations, will give a talk from 3:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Milton Theatre.

Tara Yosso, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, will speak about community cultural wealth in education, while David G. Garcia, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, will share the history of residential and school segregation of Mexican children in Oxnard, Calif.

Yosso is the author of the book “Critical Race Counterstories Along the Chicana/o Educational Pipeline” and numerous journal articles. Her research interests include: critical race theory, education access and equity and campus racial and gender climate.

Garcia, the author of the book “Culture Clash Invades Miami: Oral Histories & Ethnography Center Stage,” is the principal investigator on a collaborative history project documenting struggles for educational equity in Oxnard from 1900 through the 1970s, with a particular focus on a 1971 desegregation case.

“This is the first in a series of lectures, which continues through the fall and spring semesters,” said Dulcinea Lara, criminal justice assistant professor and one of the organizers of the event. “We will be bringing in various notable scholars who have done critical race theory work, education equity, indigenous, radical mapping and other work toward the promotion of race equality in the U.S.”

A book signing and reception will follow the lectures on Sept. 8. The next scheduled speakers will be on campus Oct. 6 and Nov. 3.

The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.

The Critical Conversations Series is sponsored through an IDEA grant from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President Wendy Wilkins, to promote support for diversity at NMSU.

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