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Top Latino American Leaders to Hold Symposium at OAS on Strategies to Increase Latino Civic Engagement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Principals of influential Latino organizations this Saturday will lead a series of talks on how Latinos can increase participation in the civic life of the country and translate this engagement into policy outcomes on issues ranging from the economy to education to immigration. The symposium, called The Futuro: Talks About the Road Ahead and sponsored by the American Latino Heritage Fund, will take place at the Organizations of American States on 17th St. and Constitution Ave. (entrance on 17th), from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Each of six issue-based sessions will comprise a "Futuro Talk" given by a top Latino voice and will be followed by a panel discussion with two additional issue experts, during which audience members can submit questions and feedback via social media. The final two minutes of each session will be dedicated to a "call to action," providing resources and strategies for guests to take back to their own communities.

The Futuro symposium is part of the larger Latino Inaugural 2013 celebration that will be capped off with a star-studded performance at the Kennedy Center on Sun., Jan. 20. Media are asked to RSVP for Futuro Talks to Natalie Munoz at nmunoz@skdknick.com or 202-464-6601 by Thurs., Jan. 17. The event will begin with a light breakfast at 8:45 a.m., with the speaking program to start at 9:30 a.m. It will include addresses and discussions on the following issue areas:

Overview of The Futuro: Civic Participation and the Latino Vote featuring Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials
Following record levels of Latino participation in the historic 2012 presidential election, national and local leaders will reflect on lessons learned, best practices and maintaining momentum while building an infrastructure for the road ahead.

Welcome Organizations of American States Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and American Latino Heritage Fund Executive Director Midy Aponte; acknowledgement of U.S. Ambassador to the OAS Carmen Lomellin

Our Economy featuring Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia, and Brent Wilkes, national executive director for the League of United Latin American Citizens
The Latino community has voiced its support for an economy rooted in the principle that anybody who works hard and plays by the rules can achieve the American dream. This session will focus on the upcoming congressional session and the economic barriers and opportunities ahead for the Latino community.

Latinos and the Media featuring Enrique Santos, TV and radio personality
From the highest rated television and radio programs to influential weekly and daily newspapers to a growing digital media presence and new bilingual network platforms, Latinos are a major force in the American media. Panelists will discuss 2012 election coverage, the changing face of the media and how Latinos across the country can work with media to enhance their level of civic engagement.

Immigration Reform featuring Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Janet Murguía, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza
There has been no more galvanizing an issue for the Latino community in recent years than immigration and the need to reform our current system. Following the presidential election, immigration reform is once again at the top of the legislative agenda. Policy experts and important voices from across the country will engage in a discussion on how reform will impact people, communities and the entire American economy.

Education featuring Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
The success of our nation is uniquely tied to the rapidly growing Latino community. In turn, the Latino community’s success relies on improved educational opportunities from pre-K to college and beyond. Panelists will discuss the current state and future of education and how an educated Latino community will contribute to shaping America’s 21st century economy.

Latino Power featuring Cristóbal Alex, program officer of the Ford Foundation
In recent elections we have seen the number of Latinos elected to national office steadily increase, but Latino representation continues to lag in the federal workforce, state-appointed policymaking level and on corporate boards. Experts will explore the current state of Latinos in power and how the community can expand its power base.

Closing Remarks featuring Henry R. Muñoz III, Latino Inaugural 2013

Press Contacts
Natalie Munoz, nmunoz@skdknick.com, 202-464-6601 Gabriela Melendez, gmelendez@skdknick.com, 202-464-6964

About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org.

Media Contact:
Scott Gunderson Rosa: (202) 548-5876

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