WALLA WALLA, Wash.— The second comprehensive report on social conditions for Latinos in Washington State will be presented and discussed in an open public meeting Monday, Dec. 4, on the Whitman College campus.

A group of advanced undergraduates at Whitman, under the direction of politics professor Paul Apostolidis, has collaboratively authored the 2006 edition of The State of the State for Washington Latinos. This is the second such report; a group of Apostolidis’s students in 2005 issued the first report last December. For more details, go to http://www.whitman.edu/politics/state_of_the_state

This year’s presentation, at 7 p.m. in Room 130, Olin Hall, 814 Isaacs Ave., on the Whitman College campus, is once again open to the public. Uriel Iniguez, executive director of the Washington Commission on Hispanic Affairs, will again be present. He attended the 2005 unveiling of “The State of the State for Washington Latinos” and congratulated the class members and Apostolidis for their “outstanding” work.

This year’s agenda, which includes an invitation for guests to participate in a community discussion, includes the following topics of student research:

  • What can public schools do to raise the number of Latino youth finishing high school and to support high academic achievement among these kids?
  • How can we give more young Hispanic children a good start to school by fostering inclusive, high quality preschool experiences with well-trained teachers?
  • How can Washington State open the doors of higher education to more young Latinos, especially in four-year bachelor’s degree programs?
  • What innovative steps can be taken to bring down the disproportionately high number of Hispanic youth caught up in the juvenile justice system?
  • What can the state do to help community-based health programs meet the health care needs of the poor and undocumented and prevent the spread of HIV among Latinos?
  • How can schools become key partners in helping prevent domestic violence in Hispanic communities of this state?
  • What can be done at the state and local levels to reduce the gap in homeownership between Latinos and non-Latinos?
  • How do we mobilize the Latino youth vote, dramatically increase the level of Hispanic political representation, and ensure voting rights enforcement — enhancing the political power of Hispanics to address all of these vital issues and others?

“The State of the State for Washington Latinos continues to be the only broadly inclusive report on social and political conditions for Latinos in Washington State, where the Hispanic population has been rapidly rising while inequalities remain multiple and serious,” said Apostolidis. “These students, who have completed research in our politics seminar, have had the generous partnership of professional locally and state-wide. We appreciate them and their organizations.”

The community partners include: Cynthia Selde, Walla Walla Latino-American Forum; Diana Erickson and Cindy Gregoire, Walla Walla Public Schools; Yolanda Esquivel, Walla Walla Migrant Head Start Program; Melinda Brennan and Andrea Valencia, Building Bridges Preschool Program; Ricardo Iniguez, Wenatchee Public Schools; Andrew Dankel-Ibanez and Victor Chacon, Walla Walla Community College; Vance Norsworthy, Walla Walla Juvenile Detention Center; Suzanne Morrissey, Walla Walla Heart to Heart; Mary Jo Ybarra-Vega, Quincy Community Health Center; Mario Paredos, CONSEJO; David Pesel, Columbia Legal Services; Roger Bairstow, Broetje Orchards; Barbara Guzzo, Beacon Development Group; Melinda Townsend, Helpline of Walla Walla; Bill Erickson, Walla Walla High School, Club Latino; Joaquin Avila, Seattle University School of Law.

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CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156; parishlj@whitman.edu

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Paul Apostolidis, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, Whitman College (509) 522-4426; apostopc@whitman.edu