SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- One is a founding father of the Chicano Rights Movement, one is a Tucson, Ariz., educator whose Mexican American Studies program was banned by the local school board, and the third is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of fatherhood, family strengthening and culturally based violence prevention and intervention issues.
The three activists and educators – Jose Angel Gutiérrez, Sean Arce and Jerry Tello – will give keynote speeches at the annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days Summit to take place at Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, March 27.
Now in its fifth year, the LEAD Summit was created to bring together educators, activists, politicians, students and members of the general public to focus on educational issues affecting Latinos at the national, regional and local levels, said Enrique Murillo, the executive director and founder of the LEAD project, and a professor of education at Cal State San Bernardino.
Each year, the conference focuses on a specific topic, Murillo said. The summit’s theme this year is “Latino Male Crisis in the Educational Pipeline.”
The free, day-long conference will be held in the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center and will be hosted again by CSUSB’s College of Education. Online registration is available at the LEAD website. The summit will be webcast simultaneously to viewing locations nationally and internationally.
Gutiérrez, who will give the late afternoon address, “Chicano Rights Movements: Then and Now,” is a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and founder of the Center for Mexican American Studies.
Along with Cesar Chavez, Corky Gonzales and Reies Tijerina, Gutiérrez is considered among the most important and influential leaders of the Chicano movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was a founding member of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) in 1967, one of the first student activist groups of the Chicano movement; and founding member and past president of the political party La Raza Unida Party, which challenged Democratic and Republican parties alike to court the ignored Mexican American and Latino voter.
The civil rights leader has been organizer, founder and co-founder of several other organizations, such as the Mexican American Unity Council, Ciudadanos Unidos, Obreros Unidos Independientes, Becas Para Aztlán and the Northwest Voter Registration and Education Project.
Gutiérrez’s talk is made possible with funding from the CSUSB Intellectual Life and Visiting Scholars Committee and CSUSB Academic Programs.
Sean Arce, who will give the morning keynote speech, is co-founder and former director of the Mexican American Studies program taught in Tucson high schools, which was later banned by the Tucson Unified School District. Arce’s speech, “The Battle for Mexican American Studies (MAS) and the National Movement for Protecting Public Education,” will focus on the fight for MAS programs and the next phase of the struggle to save ethnic studies.
Arce continues to carry on the legacy of Mexican American Studies based on the concept of In Lak Ech, the Mayan philosophy of interpersonal responsibility. As a result, the Xican Institute for Teaching and Organizing was created with support from faculty at Arizona’s renowned Prescott College. XITO is the evolution of the struggle to promote Mexican American Studies in school districts around the country.
Arce’s talk is made possible through a working partnership with the Ethnic Studies Student Organization, the Center for Indigenous Peoples and the Native American Indigenous Student Association, with funding provided by the CSUSB Club Allocation Budget.
Jerry Tello, who is also director of the National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute, will speak after lunch. His topic, “La Cultura Cura, Cultural-Based Healing for Boys and Men of Color,” follows the summit’s theme.
Tello is part of the National Compadres Network, which is a national network that focuses on the reinforcement of the positive involvement of Latino males in the lives of their families, communities and society. The National Compadres Network is partnering with the LEAD Summit, Murillo said.
In the last 30 years, Tello has dedicated his efforts to preventing and healing the pain of relationship and community violence, teen pregnancy and fatherlessness by speaking, training and motivating more than half a million people and training thousands of facilitators across the nation to address these issues.
He has also motivated, trained and mentored thousands of individuals, organizations and community groups in the issues of fatherhood, male “rites of passage,” relationship and gang violence prevention, teen fatherhood, pregnancy prevention, family strengthening, fatherhood literacy and community peace.
In collaboration with the American G.I. Forum, Tello is part of an effort to provide domestic violence awareness presentations and support services to Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf War veterans and their spouses.
For more information and to register online for the conference, visit the LEAD website or contact Enrique Murillo Jr. at (909) 537-5632.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007. Visit its news website at news.csusb.edu.