Record-Breaking Latino Education Summit Hosted at Kent State
The 2019 Ohio Latino Education Summit broke the record for registration numbers when Kent State University hosted it for the first time in November. The Ohio Latino Education Summit is an annual event that brings students, educators and congressional leaders together to discuss issues that impact the education of Latinos in Ohio.
“It’s the largest ever. We have almost 600 people registered which is almost double the previous high of the summit,” said Daniel Diaz Nilsson, co-chair and director of Kent State’s Diversity Outreach and Development office in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.
The event was held Nov. 8, 2019, at the Kent State University Student Center with the theme "Inspiring Resilience: Equity, Partnerships, and Quality Schools." The all-day conference included different speakers and more than a dozen break-out sessions covering topics such as mental health, partnerships and promoting inclusive communities.
Each session offered a diverse perspective on an array of topics which inspired discussions on how to create change for Latinos and the education community.
Elisha Swanson, assistant director for Academic Diversity Outreach in University College, shared how she will implement what she learned to her office.
“I will be using the advocacy activity in a modified version for my students just to get them thinking about advocacy,” Swanson said, “because it can be intimidating, but it creates an opportunity to explain that advocacy takes on different forms.”
The high schoolers in attendance had the opportunity to engage with current Kent State students by taking tours of campus as well as having their own break-out discussion groups.
All attendees were brought back together for a discussion facilitated by Nilsson that focused on the significance of intentional engagement within the Latinx community through actively seeking networking and partnerships.
“Today we aren’t focused on what is broken, but focused on what is and what will be,” said Lilly Cavanuagh, executive director of the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, said at the conference.
Everyone was encouraged as they left the day-long conference to take one or two little things that could be taken away and used to make a difference.
Image caption: Kent State Student Leaders who helped with the high school portion of the 2019 Ohio Latino Education Summit.