My friend, mentor and co-author Dr. Luis Urrieta (cover photo) was honored yesterday at the White House with a “Champion of Change” Award! He was one of 10 honorees chosen nationally for his work as a community leader. Dr. Luis Urrieta truly embodies the spirit of Cesar Chavez’s legacy. He is a wonderful example of someone who uses their powers for good!
WHITE HOUSE TO HONOR CESAR E. CHAVEZ “CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE”
Luis Urrieta, Jr., Ph.D. is the Associate Professor and Program Director for the Cultural Studies in Education Program at The University of Texas, Austin and Coordinator of the Cultura en Acción Culture in Action After School Program. He has dedicated his life and career to raising awareness about Latina/o community issues, especially immigrant, and indigenous communities. As the son of Mexican immigrants from rural Michoacán, his motivation for advocacy and work with communities stems from his family experiences dealing with the perceptions and often hostility toward immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants. His professional and academic work in Education has been dedicated to raising awareness and valuing Latina/o immigrant family and community knowledge as well as the importance of nourishing and supporting strong ethnic and linguistic identities in Latina/o children and youth, while promoting and creating the conditions for high academic achievement. Urrieta’s advocacy has been primarily focused on mentoring, teaching, and cultivating leadership around critical issues in Latina/o education with youth as a former bilingual middle school teacher, with teachers as a teacher educator, and with undergraduate and graduate students through community workshops and internships, exchange programs abroad in Mexico and Guatemala, and through his local church. For the last two years, Urrieta, along with student volunteers, has also coordinated Cultura en Acción-Culture in Action a collaborative after school program for elementary school students that focuses on academic, self, and community empowerment along with integrating 21st Century skills and technology, while cultivating leadership skills.