By Noe Ramos |Staff Writer|
Campus and community leaders will be meeting for an annual conference addressing low enrollment and accessibility to resources within Latino education in March.
This year’s Summit VIII is going to be a part of a week-long event called LEAD Week, where every day is dedicated to spreading awareness of Latino education issues, consisting of several activities.
Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD) is working together with parents, college students, Catholic school kids, and local elected officials, according to Dr. Enrique Murillo Jr.
LEAD Organization is a broad group of professionals, artists, students, advocates, community leaders and more, who are interested and committed to address education issues in the Latino community, according to LEAD webpage.
“We have a center in the College of Education that deals around the crisis around Latino Education and every year we have a showcase event which is our summit,” said Murillo.
Murillo has been a professor at CSUSB for almost 17 years, where he specializes in Latino education, and is the Executive Director of LEAD.
“A lot of people think it’s a one-time thing that LEAD does, but in fact we do things year-round […] Summit is the main show case, the marquee,” said Murillo.
This year, the annual conference will be returning for its eighth year.
“As a Latino student I appreciate knowing about this organization, especially in the direction society has been going,” said David Barreto.
“It’s amazing to know that they’ve been doing this event for 8 years,” Barreto continued.
In the earlier years of his career, Murillo noticed that there was a lack of resources for Latino students.
He has noticed issues such as low college enrollment and attainment in the Latino community.
This fed his purpose into forming what is now the summit. The reason behind why it is called summit is “because everybody is in one room that wouldn’t normally be in the same room,” according to Murillo.
Those in attendance include teachers, students, President Tomás Morales, and locally elected officials.
Summit has come a long way from where it had started, according to Murillo, saying that the first few years were revolved around assessing problems, and resolving crises in Latino education.
The organization has been focusing on successful solutions and strategies, that will highly impact Latino students for the last four or five years.
“I’m a freshman and it makes me feel good to know there is an organization that is dedicated into spreading aware regarding Latino education,” said student Gilberto Gutierrez.
This came into development after the state of California acknowledged that there were reoccurring issues within the Latino community. As a result, the California Assembly and Senate agreed that the last week of March every year should be a week of advocacy for Latino education.
Out of the entire week, the biggest event is going to be LEAD Summit VIII, which will be on Thursday, March 30.
According to Murillo, LEAD has a large national and international audience. There are people that view the conference through webcasting, reaching an audience from over 40 different countries.
“In a sense we are developing our community, we are raising awareness and offering solutions through such effective programs,” said Murillo.