Dec. 3, 2004
director of diversity affairs at Morningside College, and
several Morningside students attended the sixth Strengthening
and Valuing Latino/a Communities Conference held
recently in Des Moines, Iowa.
The students were:
Brenda Alvarado, a junior from Donna, Texas; Rebeca
Hernandez, a freshman from Sioux City; Cynthia Gascon,
a junior from Columbus, Neb.; Vanessa Gascon, a junior
from Columbus, Neb.; and Gretna Sanchez, a senior from
O'Brien and the students participated
in a Latinos in Higher Education workshop that explored barriers
to higher education. They also attended a pre-conference institute
that dealt with topics such as immigration, Latinos and education,
reaching out to Latino communities, and human and civil rights.
O'Brien also attended the Latino Pre-Conference Training Institute.
The conference's keynote speakers
were artist Yolanda M. López and Dr. America Bracho,
executive director of Latino Health Access in Santa Ana, Calif.
The Latino/a Conference offers an
opportunity to explore the changing demographics and dynamics
of the Iowa Latino community and the responsiveness of educators,
policy makers, business leaders and community-based organizations
to the fastest growing population in the United States. According
to the 2000 census, the Latino/a population has become the
largest minority group in Iowa .