Hispanic/Latino Summit to address pressing social issues

Hispanic/Latino Summit to address pressing social issues
Experts and leaders to gather at Rice for panel discussions


Some of the most pressing social issues affecting Hispanics in Texas will be discussed by Hispanic business leaders, award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa and Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg at the Hispanic/Latino Summit at Rice University May 14.
The summit will be held from 1 to 7 p.m., mostly in Janice and Robert McNair Hall. Registration costs $99 and must be done online at www.texasdiversityconference.com/hispanicsummit.html.


”The Hispanic/Latino Summit will focus on overarching issues, such as immigration and economic opportunity, and more specific topics that relate to Hispanics in the corporate world,” said Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, co-chair of the summit and associate director of corporate diversity for AT&T.

The first panel discussion, ”Deconstructing the Texas Glass Ceiling: Hispanic/Latino Leaders in the Corporate World,” will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Room 312.

”This panel will discuss characteristics of successful leadership, a road map to success, the role of mentors and challenges and opportunities for Hispanics in corporate America,” Orellana-Rojas said.

Speakers are Sonia Perez, senior vice president of external affairs for AT&T; Ron Acosta, regional general manager of Wal-Mart Stores; Lora Villarreal, senior vice president and chief people officer of Affiliated Computer Services; and Alfonso Lujan, executive vice president of CPS Energy. Vicente Arenas, anchor and reporter for KHOU-TV, will moderate.

Two panels will run concurrently from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.  

”Immigration Debate: Public Policy, Business and Nonprofit Perspectives” will be held in Room 312. Speakers include Jacob Monty, managing partner with Monty Partners LLP; Beto Cardenas, attorney with Vinson & Elkins LLP; and Klineberg, Rice professor of sociology. Hope Andrade, executive director of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT), will be the moderator.

”Our current immigration system is broken, and attempting to expand the immigration debate is too politically toxic for congressional leaders,” said Aracely García-Granados, co-chair of the summit and MATT’s director for Mexico. ”Our distinguished panel members will address the immigration debate from a public policy and business perspective.”

The other panel, ”Entrepreneurship Among Hispanics: Avenues to Creating Wealth and Opportunities,” will take place in Room 314. Speakers are Regina Montoya, CEO of New America Alliance; Sonia Clayton, president of Virtual Intelligence Providers LLC; and Bill Treviño, executive vice president of the Treviño Group. Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will moderate.

The panels will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. in Ley Student Center’s Farnsworth Pavilion. At 6 p.m., Maria Hinojosa will deliver the keynote speech. An awarding-winning journalist and author, Hinojosa is also senior correspondent for the PBS newsmagazine “NOW” and is managing editor and anchor of National Public Radio’s “Latino USA.”

The summit is sponsored by Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and MATT. The event is part of the fourth annual Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference hosted by the Texas Diversity Council.

”I am very excited to offer a venue for Hispanic voices at our conference,” said Dennis Kennedy, founder and CEO of the Texas Diversity Council. ”Texas is home to 8.4 million Hispanics representing 36 percent of the state’s population, and my hope is that this inaugural summit contributes to the understanding of Latino issues in our state.”

For more information on the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference, visit www.texasdiversityconference.com.

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