TAMIU’s Ramirez Attends White
Dr. Minita Ramírez
Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) vice president for Student Success Dr. Minita Ramírez has just returned from attending the White House’s Hispanic Policy Conference in July 11-12.
The Conference was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and attracted 160 Hispanic leaders from 25 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Dr. Ramírez said the experience was both exciting and daunting.
“The Conference attested to the diversity of the Hispanic community. That diversity extends to our needs and our approaches to identifying solutions for those needs. It’s clear we have a ways to go, but I am convinced that the Administration is committed to addressing the needs of the Hispanic community, and helping us all to advance forward,” Ramírez explained.
She joined participants in opportunities to interact with key decision and policy makers in the Obama Administration from a wide array of policy areas. They shared concerns, constructive criticism, feedback and success stories and worked together to find ways to collaborate with the Administration and other national leaders to address the needs of the Latino community.
At the end of the first day, the group met President Obama, who encouraged them to take the Conference’s conversation back to their communities.
Ramírez said that the Conference clearly established that the Hispanic community is not a one-issue community.
“While jobs and the economy, education, and health care are of course the most important challenges named by Latinos nationwide, and immigration touches us all, there were a larger number of topics on the table for consideration. This reinforced that there are many more issues the Administration addresses that are important to the Hispanic community, “ she said.
Ramírez said she was most impressed by the sense of community the Conference created.
“There was a sense of community created among the attendees and Administration officials and partnerships and action plans that didn’t exist before the Conference. We weren’t just asking the government to solve every problem, but offering to work together, mano a mano to make things better for the Hispanic community,” she concluded.
The Conference creation grew out of a series of national visits to communities, include Laredo, by Juan Sepulveda, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
For more information on the White House’s Hispanic Policy Conference, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/14/first-ever-white-house-hispanic-policy-conference-why-hispanics-are-critical-winning
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