Election 2010 and Communities of Color

THU, NOV 4, 2010 (59:04)

Dr. Maria Idali Torres, director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy; Dr. Paul Watanabe of the Institute of Asian American Studies at UMass Boston; and Marvin Venay, executive director of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, join State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry to explore how the newly elected and reelected officials are likely to address upcoming legislation affecting Latino, Black, and Asian American populations on education, immigration and language, affordable housing, economic development, and health and safety. Hear what the panel thinks we can do to ensure better representation for our communities.

+ BIO: Maria Idali Torres

Maria Idalí Torres is the current director of the Gaston Institute. She obtained a PhD from the University of Connecticut and a MS in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts. Prior to his current position she spent 17 years as a professor of public health at the UMASS-Amherst campus, and another 15 years practicing health education in community and school settings. Dr. Torres’ research and publications have focused on the promotion, protection and maintenance of reproductive and sexual health among Latinas and their families. Most recently, she has been working on Latino youth sexual health disparities and the prevention of teenage pregnancy. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her work at the local, state and national levels.

+ BIO: Paul Watanabe

Paul Watanabe is currently director of the Institute for Asian American Studies and associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His principal research and teaching interests are in the areas of American political behavior, ethnic group politics, Asian Americans, and American foreign policy. He is the author of Ethnic Groups, Congress, and American Foreign Policy and principal author of A Dream Deferred: Changing Demographics, New Opportunities, and Challenges for Boston. He regularly contributes analysis and commentary to national and local television, radio, newspapers, and news magazines. He has served on several boards of non-profit organizations including the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Political Research Associates, the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, the Harvard Community Health Plan, the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund, and the Asian American Policy Review. Paul was born in Murray, Utah, and he received his PhD in Political Science from Harvard University.

+ BIO: Marvin Venay

An activist, husband, father of two, minister, mentor, board member and committed community member, Marvin L. Venay has served as the Director of the Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus (MBLC) since early 2007. Marvin is recognized as an influential leader with innovative approaches to politics. He believes that today’s politics is in need of a more radical approach to serve its true purpose. A native of Pittsburgh, PA and a Boston University alum, Marvin possesses significant experience with project management, relationship management and has a strong background in communication and sales. He has a knack for organizational development and the building of concepts from infancy to fruition. Marvin has a wide range of experience, from corporate to non-profit work. He serves on two non-profit boards and mentors several students and professionals across the country. Marvin has a heart for the world and motivates everyone to live by the motto penned by George Bernard Shaw, “Some people see things as they are and ask ‘why’? I see things as they have never been and ask ‘why not’?”

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