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ASU forum offers civil rights debate

August 26, 2007
The Arizona State University Center for Community Development & Civil Rights will host the third in its annual series of civil rights forums for ASU and the local community featuring prominent conservative author and columnist, Linda Chavez and Center founder and executive director, Raul Yzaguirre.

The forum includes two days of discussion, debate and question and answer sessions on contemporary civil rights and immigration in the United States, moderated by veteran journalist James E. Garcia. A session on Sept. 27 will be open to ASU students, faculty and staff only. The public is invited to a breakfast forum on Sept. 28 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, writes a syndicated column and is a political commentator for FOX News Channel. She was staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1983 to 1985 under President Ronald Reagan, and was a nominee for Labor Secretary for the Bush Administration. She is the author of the memoir, “An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal” (Basic Books 2002).

Her most recent book is “Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics” (Crown Books, 2004). She also wrote “Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation” (Basic Books 1991), which the Denver Post described as a book that "should explode the stereotypes about Hispanics that have clouded the minds of patronizing liberals and xenophobic conservatives alike."

In addition to his work as Center for Community Development and Civil Rights executive director, Yzaguirre is also ASU Professor of Practice in the College of Public Programs. He served for 30 years as president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Under his tenure, the organization became the largest national constituency-based Latino organization in the country and the leading Hispanic think tank in Washington. D.C.

His lifelong legacy of national civil rights advocacy includes being instrumental in extending civil rights laws; restoring benefits for legal immigrants after 1996 welfare reform; expanding Hispanic access to federal education programs; expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families; and molding the North American Free Trade Agreement to address the needs of Hispanic Americans.
The Center’s prior forums include a screening of the HBO film “Walkout” and discussion with Yzaguirre, actor-director Edward James Olmos and film producer Moctesuma Esparza and a lecture featuring Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League on the future of Latinos and African-Americans in the U.S. educational system and workforce.

For lecture details contact Leticia de la Vara, Program Manager, ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at or (602) 496-0433 or see