2012 NLRC Conference "Latinos in San Diego County: Understanding the Contributions and Challenges of Families in 2012 and Beyond "


The National Latino Research Center hosted the conference, Latinos in San Diego County: Understanding the Contributions and Challenges of Families in 2012 and Beyond on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at Cal State San Marcos.

The aim of the conference was to increase awareness and understanding of an important part of our community’s ethnic diversity by bringing to the fore the plight of Latino children and their families in San Diego County. Using a decade of applied research experience, NLRC provided a series of snapshots of critical issues affecting Latino families today (including education, health, political participation and representation, and technology access and use).

Media Articles:


Here are some conference materials:

1. Opening and Welcome by Dr. Gerardo Gonzalez

Dr. Gerardo M. Gonzalez, Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice President for Research, welcomed conference participants to Cal State San Marcos. 

2. Demographic Overview: Latino Landscape

Dr. Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez, NLRC Director, and Dr. Konane M. Martinez, Assistant Professor of Anthropology offered an overview of latest 2010 U.S. Census information to provide a better understanding of who Latinos are in San Diego County. 

3. Breakout Sessions

Break-out sessions were facilitated by NLRC research team to provide on-the-ground strategies to address disparities in local communities. The sessions focused in three main areas of research: health, technology, and education. 

 a. "Building Healthier Communities" by Sandra Carmona and Fabiola Gastelum

Sandra Carmona and Fabiola Gastelum, NLRC researchers and community organizers presented findings and strategies to improve community health outcomes through grassroots organizing and leadership development in underserved communities.  

 b. "Improving Educational Equity for Youth & Families" by Ana M. Ardón

Ana M. Ardón, NLRC Researcher, aimed to shed light on inequities that Latino students and families confront in education. This session provided an overview of the status of educational opportunities and outcomes for Latinos in San Diego County, with specific attention to issues in the local North County region. Additionally, this session highlighted strategies and opportunities to engage and support Latino parents as they address the educational needs of their children. 

 c. "Integrating Technological Innovation into Community Infrastructure" by Anna Hoff

Anna R. Hoff, NLRC Researcher, presented how mobile health (mHealth) technology can be leveraged to supplement health care and health interventions. The potential of mHealth is virtually limitless; a range of wellness, prevention, and chronic disease programs can provide patients and mobile phone users with information, education, reminders (appointments, medication, treatment plan), referrals (resources, low-cost care, services, medical advice), and positive encouragement for better health behaviors.


4. Aztec Dancing by Calpulli Omeyocan

The mission of Capulli Omeyocan is to provide a rich and cultural experience for the community through the expression of dance and music as an art form to present and preserve the indigenous culture. The group functions as a fountain of knowledge using what has been passed down from ancestors to strengthen the roots and pride of the people. NLRC shares Calpulli Omeyocan´s mission for cultural preservation in our communities. For more information, please contact the group at calpulli_omeyocan@yahoo.com

5. Keynote Address by Dr. Maria de la Luz Reyes

Dr. Maria de la Luz Reyes presented her new book, Words Were All We Had, in which she makes the case that native languages play an important role in learning. She does this by presenting a collection of 11 personal narratives written by Latina/os who describe how they navigated a school system in an era that punished them for speaking Spanish and underestimated their academic potential.  These counter-narratives reveal the strong emotional connection that Latinos have with Spanish, and illustrate the tenacity and resilience of young students who –against the odds--maintained their Spanish while learning English, and excelling in academics.  All narrators went on to earn Ph.Ds and became recognized experts in their professional fields. Their early struggles with cultural and linguistic rejection mirror the current climate of rejection that today’s Latino students face in schools.  

Words Were All We Had

6. Closing Remarks

For more information please contact NLRC at nlrc@csusm.edu

 or 760-750-3500.