Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado will be among the more than 3,000 community leaders, experts, elected officials, and change-makers at this year’s UnidosUS Annual Conference, a leading forum for those interested in social change and committed to championing Latinx people.
Collado will participate in a plenary session titled “The Future Is Latino: Breaking Barriers in the Age of Innovation,” taking place Monday, Aug. 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. She will be joined on the panel by Aida Cardenas, executive director of Building Skills Partnership, and Ramiro Cavazos, president and chief executive officer of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Serving as moderator will be Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, senior fellow at the National Skills Coalition.
Latinx students currently account for 25 percent of the U.S. school population, and are poised to be one-third of the workforce by 2050. In an era of low unemployment rates, automation, and an increasingly digital workplace, they have unique needs that must be addressed. As education and workforce development experts, the panelists will discuss expanding access to opportunities in schools to give more Latinx students pathways to college and strong careers, as well as targeted and effective investments to help those already in the workforce advance in growing industries. They will also consider policies, programs, and effective strategies to turn today’s students and workers into tomorrow’s leaders.
“I am honored to serve on this critically important panel at UnidosUS,” said Collado. “We, as leaders in education, business, and the public sector, must come together like this and work very intentionally to help provide the current and next generation of Latinx students with an exceptional education experience that is accessible, affordable, and responsive to their distinctive needs.”
Following Collado’s plenary session, the conference will feature a luncheon conversation with four Democratic presidential candidates. Directly addressing Latinx leaders and community members from across the United States will be former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Kamala Harris.
Formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, UnidosUS partners with a national network of affiliates across the country to serve millions of Latinx people in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing. The UnidosUS 2019 Annual Conference runs Aug. 3–6 at the San Diego Convention Center.