Latino Forum Talks Education, Equity

Between tuition equity and local school budget cuts, Latinos will have a lot to talk about at the second Lane Latin@ Leadership Forum: “Latin@s and the Education System” on April 4. (The @ symbol is a gender-inclusive way to write “Latino.”) Organizer Phillip Carrasco says that the forum will include a couple of potential questions, but the format will emphasize an open dialogue between five panelists and the audience.

Carrasco says that the Oregon Legislature’s passage of a tuition equity bill is “probably the hottest thing to talk about” right now. The bill made it possible for certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition in the Oregon University System. It applies to those who have attended school in the U.S. for at least five years, studied at an Oregon high school for at least three years and graduated, and plan to become a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

There’s also likely to be a lot of discussion of cutbacks at schools, Carrasco says, including concern from parents about physical education and music programs being cut. “There are plenty of proposals through the city that have started to gain notoriety, and that might come up,” he says.

Panelists include Carmen Urbina, parent, family and diversity coordinator at 4J; Juan Cuadros, principal of Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School; Edward M. Olivos, associate professor and department head of education studies at UO; Michael Sámano, coordinator of ethnic atudies and project director of Integration of Vets in Education at LCC; and Anselmo Villanueva, board member of Lane County Education Service District. Support for the program was provided by Associated Students of LCC, Carniceria Mi Tierra and MeCha.

Carrasco says that the many leaders and community members at the event will show how younger generations in the Latino community bring new ideas to the table while older people provide the community with wisdom and experience.

The forum begins with a 6 pm social half-hour with the forum following. For more info, see or email

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