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Thirteenth Annual Tomás Rivera Conference at UCRExamines "Latinos at the Millennium"

Thirteenth Annual Tomás Rivera Conference at UCRExamines "Latinos at the Millennium"

(April 11, 2000)

The 13th annual Tomás Rivera Conference will return to its roots Friday, April 28 at the University of California, Riverside, with a conference centered on the importance of education in advancing Latinos into influential professional roles.

"Latinos at the Millennium: Milestones and Paradoxes," is the theme of this year's conference honoring the memory of Rivera, UCR chancellor from 1979 to 1984 and a leading Chicano writer who paved the way for Chicanos and Latinos in American higher education. The conference starts at 8 a.m. and ends with a banquet starting at 8 p.m.

Past conferences have addressed topics such as food, politics, feminism, immigration and music. "Each year we have highlighted an issue of importance to the Chicano/Latino community," said Robert Nava, assistant vice-chancellor of governmental and community relations. "This year we are returning to education as the source of professional advancement and influence in the 21st Century."

Keynote speaker Ricardo Romo is president of the University of Texas at San Antonio. A track star in college, he advanced through academic ranks in California and Texas before accepting the presidency of UTSA one year ago. He is a respected urban historian who wrote the 1983 book, "East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio." From 1987 to 19993, Romo directed the Tomás Rivera Center, a national organization that examines the impact of governmental policies on Latinos. Romo and his wife, Harriett, have two children. Carlos graduated in June from Stanford University. Anadelia is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University.

Conception "Concha" Rivera, widow of Tomás Rivera, will award a Lifetime Achievement Award to Romo at the evening banquet. He joins an impressive list of previous recipients: former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros; former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso; and pioneering Mexican-American folk singer and activist Lalo Guerrero.

Conference registration begins at 8 a.m., followed by a series of presentations in the Commons Terrace Rooms:

  • 9:30 a.m. -- David J. S?chez, Jr. is a professor in the Department of Family land Community Medicine at UC San Francisco, and faculty associate for Academic and Student Outreach. His talk, called "A Continuum of Change and Challenge: Chicanos/Latinos in the Heatlh Professions," will include an overview since 1970 of the admission of Chicanos/Latinos to medical schools.
  • 10:40 a.m. -- Riverside attorney Elisa Castro will lead, "The New Latina in Law and Politics."
  • 11:45 a.m. -- Eugene E. Garcia, professor and dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, will discuss the mixed picture of reform and how it effects a growing population of Latino students. The title of his talk is, "Latino Students in Educational Reform: One Step Forward or Three Steps Backward?"
  • 2 p.m. -- Severo Perez, the writer/producer/director responsible for the award-winning feature film"...and the earth did not swallow him," about Tomás Rivera, will lead a workshop on "Crossover Latinos." Perez asks, "Is crossover only a narrow definition for the commercial success for our music and films, or is it more?"
  • 3:15 pm. -- Eduardo M. Ochoa, dean of the College of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, will give a talk called, "Business and Economics."

A no-host reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the International Lounge, with dinner at 7 p.m. in the Commons Dining Room.

Other speakers at this year's Rivera Conference include Carlos Cort?, professor emeritus of history at UCR; Patricia O'Brien, dean of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and David H. Warren, UCR executive vice chancellor. Concha Rivera will welcome guests in the morning, and present scholarship awards to students in the evening, including a scholarship fund she endowed.

The conference is free. Admission to the banquet is $20 for students and $40 for others. The deadline for registration is Friday, April 18.

Conference sponsors include Pacific Bell, the Office of the Chancellor, Southern California Gas Company, Arrowhead Credit Union, Senator and Mrs. David Kelley, the UCR Ernesto Galarza Public Policy and Humanities Research Bureau, Harold Larson, Civil Engineer and The Press-Enterprise.

Additional information is available at the Office of Governmental & Community Relations, (909) 787-5184.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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