Panel presentations and keynote speeches will focus on the idea that every voice counts and civic engagement is vital when the Latino Education and Advocacy Days Summit X takes place at Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, March 28.
With the theme “¡Su Voto Es Su Voz!” Everyone Counts, the free conference brings together teaching professionals and educators, researchers, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, civic leaders, activists and advocates – all sharing a common interest and commitment to education issues that impact Latinos to help them define the future.  
LEAD Summit X will take place from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. at the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will give the morning keynote address beginning at 10 a.m. Among his duties, Padilla serves as the state’s chief election officer, and the office oversees the state’s Elections Division and the Political Reform Division.
At 10:50 a.m., the panel “Our Vote Is Our Voice: An In-Memoriam Tribute to Willie C. Velásquez & Antonio González” will focus on the civil rights work of Velásquez and González. Ellen Riojas Clark, professor emerita from the College of Education at the University of Texas-San Antonio will serve as the panel moderator. She will be joined by Jane Velásquez, wife of the late Willie Velásquez; Lydia Camarillo, acting president of the Southwest Voter Registration Project; Irma Muñoz, founder and director of Mujeres de la Tierra; and Jorge Haynes, retired senior director of External Relations for the California State University Office of the Chancellor.
Among his many achievements, Velásquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project (SVREP), the nation’s largest and oldest non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in the United States. Under his guidance, the project launched over a thousand voter registration drives in 200 cities and Native American reservations and conducted extensive polling. From 1974 to 1987, the number of Latino elected officials in the U.S. grew from 1,566 to 3,038, an increase of 82 percent. 
González assumed the presidency of SVREP in 1994, after working in various capacities for Velásquez and his successor Andrew Hernández from 1984-94. González became a central figure in the dramatic growth of Latino political participation. He was the central architect of the Latino Vote USA (1996), Latino Vote 2000, Campaign for Communities and the Ten-Four Campaign (2004), Movimiento 10-12 (2008), Latino Vote 12N12 (2012) and Latino Vote 2016 campaigns that mobilized record numbers of new Latino voters across the United States.
Following at 11:15 a.m., the panel “Unleashing the Giant: Voter Registration & Civic Engagement,” will address topics including increasing voter registration, the need for practical and targeted voter education, critical engagement and participation rates, and organizing and exposing Latino youth and community members to social change opportunities and long-lasting community power.
Cecile Dahlquist, a doctoral candidate in CSUSB’s Educational Leadership program, will moderate the panel. She will be joined by Janet Bernabe, Riverside regional coordinator for
Mi Familia Vota; Luz Gallegos, community programs director of TODEC Legal Center; and Francisco J. Solá, chair of the Latino Voter Registration Project.
The programs will continue after lunch, with the panel “¡Hágase Contar! Make Census 2020 Count,” beginning at 12:40 p.m. focusing on the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census beyond just a counting of people. For example, California receives more than $76 billion annually in crucial federal funds for schools, crime prevention, healthcare and transportation, all based on the decennial Census-derived statistics.
The panel will be moderated by Adán Chávez, regional census campaign manager, Inland Empire, NALEO Educational Fund. He will be joined by Arturo J. Hernandez, partnership specialist, 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, the CEO and founder of the Zamora Institute, and a graduate of the CSUSB doctorate in Educational Leadership program; Quintilia Ávila, regional program manager, Southern California lead, California Complete Count; Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO, Latino Community Foundation; and Ely Flores, state director of civic engagement, NALEO Educational Fund.
The afternoon keynote at 1:25 p.m. will be delivered by Maria del Rosario “Rosie” Castro, a Mexican-American civil rights activist and educator from San Antonio, Texas. She has been active in groups such as the Young Democrats of America, the Mexican American Youth Organization, the Committee for Barrio Betterment, and the Raza Unida Party. She is the mother of Julian Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration and a declared candidate for president in 2020, and Joaquín Castro, currently representing the San Antonio, Texas region in Congress.
LEAD Summit X’s capstone presentation, “Civic Courage and Social Action in the American Democratic Process: Toward a New Latino Citizenry,” will take place at 2:15 p.m. The presentation will be offered by leaders of various Latino civil rights organizations. The fight for civil rights doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and in most cases, have fueled – and have been fueled by – other social justice movements.
Deborah Grijalva, a doctoral candidate in CSUSB’s Educational Leadership program, will moderate the panel. She will be joined by Lydia Camarillo, acting president, Southwest Voter Registration Project; Ben Monterroso, executive director, Mi Familia Vota; and Lizette Escobedo, director of National Census Programs, NALEO Educational Fund.
The summit, which averages 1,300 attendees annually – plus thousands more online via Town Hall viewing sites around the world – is the highlight of LEAD Week, which runs March 25-30.
The impact of the LEAD Summit has been broad over its 10 years. The California Assembly, since 2010, has declared the last week of March every year as a statewide week of advocacy for Latino education. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Latino Legislative Caucus, in letters to LEAD, have also lent their support by encouraging participation in the summit.
LEAD Week 2019 programs include:

  • IE Ethnic Studies II, Tuesday, March 26, in the Fourplex meeting rooms at the Cal State San Bernardino Santos Manuel Student Union;
  • Puente Student Leadership Forum IV, Wednesday, March 27, at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Bernardino; and the
  • Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Breakfast VIII, 8 a.m. Saturday, March 30, CSUSB Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.

LEAD serves as a primary site for a set of innovative and productive programs, publications and events for Latinos and education. These projects involve significant participation of faculty, students and administrators, as well as partnerships in the region and nationally.
The projects also create strong interactive connections with Latino networks in the U.S., as well as Latin Americans and Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas and the world, many whom are already in contact with LEAD personnel and the university.
For more information and to register online for the conference, visit the LEAD Summit website at, or call (909) 537-7632.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit