PBS broadcaster Tavis Smiley lends a hand to bring Latino influentials together

LatinaLista — For too long, non-Hispanics have viewed the collective Latino community as being all about immigration reform. While that is an important issue for over half of the Latino population, it’s not an issue that defines most Latinos.

As in every community, there are other issues that concern Latinos — the environment, the federal budget, education, voting rights, wages, housing, etc. However, too often, the true impact of other issues on the Latino community isn’t always heard or appreciated by non-Latinos.

PBS broadcaster Tavis Smiley saw that today’s Latino community is where the black community was over 14 years ago when he first created his State of the Black Union (SOBU) symposia. Smiley, who ended the SOBU in 2009, realized that Latinos are not afforded the opportunity to publicly converse with one another about the challenges and opportunities facing them.

In an effort to help Latinos raise awareness for their issues and concerns, Smiley is partnering with The William C. Velasquez Institute, to put on an all-day symposium on April 6, 2013 at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois dubbed “LATINO NATION: Beyond the Numbers.”

The free event is meant to bring together Latino influentials from around the country to foster discussion on a variety of topics. The symposium will include two 3-hour panel discussions where speakers such as Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles; Margaret Moran, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); and Eva Longoria, actress and activist, share their perspectives on how to create better possibilities for the collective Latino community.

The event will be live-streamed online and anyone can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #LatinoNation.

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