Monthly Archives: August 2011

Adding Another Voice


Huffington Post has just launched LatinoVoices
which promises to “provide an authentic Hispanic-American perspective on current events and cultural trends.” They’ve included a great piece on Latino college student perspectives and experiences in their inaugural offering. The Editor for HuffPost LatinoVoices is Miguel Ferrer who I had the pleasure of meeting last year.

I’ve already added LatinoVoices to my Google Reader and I’m following via Twitter – so should you!

How Do We See the Future?

Among many of the challenges faced by Latino college students whose parents are undocumented is  access to financial aid. In order to obtain any kind of financial support, most of these students depend on private sources (work, loans, etc.) or scholarships. Such is the case in this story of “Sergio” (not his real name). Not only has “Sergio” served two internships while attending SDSU, but his academic achievements have allowed him to finance 60% of his college education through scholarships. This is not a choice however – private sources and work are his only options to finance his education. The vast majority of students like “Sergio” don’t have this same opportunity.

Latino talent like Sergio’s must be embraced, developed, and employed. It’s the type talent we need in the workforce.

One has to admire what “Sergio” has done in overcoming such barriers – but one must also consider what more he could have achieved without them.

Pass the Dream Act.

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.

New Podcast Page

I just added a ‘Podcast Page’ to my blog. I’ve been honored to have some wonderful guests who have provided insights on a variety of subjects related to Latino leadership, the workforce, and education.

I enjoy producing these podcasts and will get back to doing them soon. They can be time consuming since much of the work is done prior to the actual interview! In any case, I hope to do more.

Enjoy!

The Latino Middle Class

Leslie Berestein Rojas interviews Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo regarding the Latino middle class. Excellent insights regarding how traditional socio-economic factors alone cannot explain the rise (and fall) of the Latino middle class. Dr. Vallejo also makes the case for passing comprehensive immigration reform and the Dream Act.

 … we need comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for those currently unauthorized in the country. This will help to secure the economic status of immigrants and their American-born children. Passing the national DREAM Act, which will provide a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized youth who obtain a college degree or enter the military, will result in immediate economic returns in the form of well-educated citizens who can contribute to the economic growth of this nation. We presently have unauthorized youth with college degrees working in the underground economy because they do not have legal status and this is a tremendous waste of human capital.

Graphic Evidence

I was playing around a bit this morning with the BLS Report generator. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know what the Latino  ‘employed’ growth rate has been over the last ten years (16 years and older, all education levels, male & female, numbers in 000s). Extraordinary given the economic issues of the last four or five years.
The bottom graphic illustrates “changes in employed’ using the same criteria as above. Also extraordinary but in another way – this graphic illustrates the susceptibility of employed Latinos to economic upheaval.

My New Space!

Welcome to my new home!

If you’ve arrived here via Hispanic Talent Memo, I appreciate you coming along.

As I noted in my last post over at HTM, I’ve been trying to streamline my “online footprint” for the last couple months. Anyway, the results are a new domain name and new site. The content remains the same. All my HTM posts have been transferred over to this “new” blog. I’ll keep HTM live for a few days before redirecting here.

I also changed a lot ”behind the scences” going with a new platinum framework ( via HeadwayThemes). Awesome product for someone that is considerably more visual than technical. However, knowing a little HTML and CSS has been helpful!

So this opens a new chapter in my blogging career. I appreciate you stopping by now and in the future.

See you soon!

Miguel   

 

Resisting "The Consensus"

I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR regarding economists that attempt to predict economic performance (job creation, unemployment, economic growth) for a given month. As a whole, these economists are referred to as “the consensus” and their impact on markets can be significant. Organizations base much of their activities on what “the consensus” predicts. What’s ironic is that “the consensus” is wrong more often than not.

It’s easy to fall into “the consensus” way of thinking.  A consensus exists when everyone agrees. For example, we can be united in our communications or actions related to a problem or solution.  However, is it possible to have diversity in unity?

Given that “the consensus” is often wrong, we run the risk of pluralistic conformity, shared bias, and ignorance: in short, unreliable consensus. This is an important point when Latinos consider the diverse issues impacting our community.

More important, let’s keep in mind that consensus is not always what gives credibility to the solution.

Dreaming in Nebraska

Educational opportunity for every resident of the United States is one of the cornerstones of our society. Nearly thirty years ago, the Supreme Court acknowledged as such by securing access to primary and secondary education to all U.S. residents regardless of their immigration status. 

In Plyer v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that undocumented children had the right to attend free public primary and secondary schools. Ironically, these same students are not afforded the same educational privileges beyond high school. And so goes the fight for the Dream Act.

This issue is playing out all over the United States. Not only in states like Arizona or Georgia – but in the small Midwestern towns of Nebraska.

A new documentary, When the Counting Stops, profiles 6 Latino high school students pursuing their American dream in Crete, Nebraska. The trailer is posted below.

When one gets beyond the political rhetoric and noise, we see how advocating for the educational and professional goals of these young dreamers can only improve our country.