November 9, 2016
The Texas Tech University Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (DIDECE) has launched a new lecture series that will serve as a catalyst to raise the university's presence in the Latino community in Lubbock and beyond.
Maria Hinojosa, an award-winning journalist and reporter with almost 30 years of experience, served as the inaugural speaker of the Latino Lecture Series on Nov. 1. Her career in journalism includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, Frontline and CBS Radio. She also served as host on the Emmy Award-winning talk show "Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One" and has received numerous awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hinojosa helped launch "Latino USA," one of the first public radio programs that focuses on the Latino community, in 1992 and has served as host since then. In 2010, she created the Futuro Media Group, an independent nonprofit organization that uses multimedia journalism to explore and give a voice to the diversity of the American experience.
DIDECE has joined forces with other organizations, including the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, Raiders Rojos and the Latino/Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association, to invite prominent individuals like Hinojosa to speak on campus at future events.
"The university is moving toward its status as a Hispanic Serving Institution, which would support research and curricular offerings that address Latino issues in our broader community," said Miguel Levario, associate professor of U.S. history and borderlands. "Ms. Hinojosa spoke in part of Latino agency, cultural awareness and the power of multi-platform media on promoting Latino issues."
Hinojosa's visit included a lecture with students, followed by a lecture to the general public. Parts of her lectures focused on the presidential campaign and election.
"It is your role as a citizen or a non-citizen to be a part of the political conversation," Hinojosa said. "It is during this divisive time in our country that we should listen and dialogue with one another. Find your voice and do not be silent."
Hinojosa also praised the university's efforts to better serve its diverse population.
"After reviewing the room and the campus it is clear to me that Texas Tech had the foresight to anticipate demographic change by aiming toward achieving its status as a Hispanic Serving Institution and increasing its enrollment of people of color," Hinojosa told attendees.
Levario said the series will raise awareness and inform the community on issues that affect Latinos.
"As a Carnegie Tier One research institution and one that serves as one of the top universities in awarding degrees to Hispanics, it is important that the university research, engage and inform on Latino issues," Levario said. "By bringing national and international figures like Maria Hinojosa to Texas Tech, we are able to engage in dialogue over these pressing topics and raise the profile of the university and Lubbock's place in the national discourse."
The Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is dedicated to create and support an environment that allows all members of the university community to be academically and professionally successful.