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Downtown lunchtime events address community topics

February 21, 2011

The ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights announces its series of lunchtime events to enlighten, entertain, and encourage thoughtful conversations on topics important to our community. CDCR Conversations will take place monthly from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Room, Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus - Mercado at 542 East Monroe Street, Suite D100.  All events are free and open to the public. ASU students, faculty, staff and members of the community at large are invited. Parking validation is not provided.

“The Center’s mission to bridge the university and the community continues today, even as the founding executive director, Raul Yzaguirre is serving as United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic,” says center director Alejandro Perilla. “We at CDCR will ensure ongoing and sustained communication with diverse stakeholders and the general public.”

The inaugural Conversation will be Feb. 24, with Rick Rodriguez, Carnegie Professor of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the website launch of Young Latino males: an American dilemma. Professor Rodriguez moderated the Young Latino Male Symposium hosted by CDCR in the fall 2010. Participants called for a web-based clearinghouse to connect researchers, practitioners, educators and all interested parties with best practices, the latest data, programs, events, and testimonials on the topic of Young Latino Males.

By any measure the numbers are daunting for young Latino males in the United States. While young Latinas have made admirable gains in educational achievement, young Latinos are lagging further behind. The achievement gap starts early; by the third grade, Latino boys are an average of a year to a year and half behind girls in reading and writing skills. By high school, some studies put the Latino male dropout rate at 50 percent. By college, the gender differences are even more profound. At the same time, young Latinos have been the fastest growing group in the U.S. prison system.

With the assistance of students from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, the lessons from the speakers and news stories from the conference were put together in a website aimed at continuing the discussion on this American dilemma of Young Latino males in crisis. The website will be unveiled followed by a discussion of the issues.