Monday, January 26, 2009

Lipscomb plans Hispanic Forum April 30

Mayor Karl Dean, Gregg Ramos to speak

"Proposing collaborative solutions to individual and community needs"

Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry calls for "dialogue not debate"

From Lipscomb University:
Lipscomb University, looking beyond last Thursday’s special election, announced an Hispanic Forum slated for April 30. The forum is designed to bring together leaders from business, government, education, healthcare, advocacy and non-profit organizations to find common ground on the challenges facing Nashville’s growing Hispanic community.

Mayor Karl Dean and Conexion Americas Board Chairman Gregg Ramos will speak at the event.

“After a polarizing election centered on one issue, we at Lipscomb want to provide the opportunity for a positive approach -- dialogue not debate -- on a broader range of issues facing the growing Hispanic population in Middle Tennessee,” said Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry. “Collaboration can help us view these not as Hispanic issues but as community challenges that demand creative solutions from all of us.”

The first annual forum is part of a series of programs focused on the challenges to a growing immigrant and refugee population in Middle Tennessee.

Renata Soto, executive director of Conexion Americas, welcomed the opportunity for a broader positive conversation: “Regardless of the outcome of the Thursday vote, we need to look forward to ways to foster understanding. The dialogue at Lipscomb on the opportunities and challenges facing the immigrant and refugee community can increase that understanding. From understanding, comes solutions.”

Candice McQueen, dean of the College of Education at Lipscomb, said the planning for the event began with education issues. “In talking with area educators, we quickly decided that the issues we needed to address were broader that just those in the education arena.”

Local leaders will serve as resource people for a dozen facilitated conversations with a goal of proposing collaborative solutions to individual and community needs.

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