September 8, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 2



National, Local Leaders to Envision California's Future

'Dynamic Diversity: Expanding the California Dream' Theme Draws Key Leaders to State Conference

California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed, businessman Henry Cisneros (right)and dozens of other national, state and local leaders will convene at the end of September in Universal City to explore the future of a diverse California.

The 15th annual Envisioning California Conference, jointly produced by Cal State Northridge's Center for Southern California Studies and the Center for California Studies at Cal State Sacramento, will welcome an anticipated 150 to 300 conferees on Thursday, Sept. 25, and Friday, Sept. 26, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.

Cisneros, a key player in national Latino politics and the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at the Thursday session.

This year's conference, titled "Dynamic Diversity: Expanding the California Dream," presents a rare opportunity for frank discussions on how the state's various sectors should serve its diverse populations. Business leaders, educators, community activists, artists and politicians will tackle the challenges posed by the state's economy, education, health care, housing and other issues.

"As the nation's largest and the world's seventh largest economy, California's dynamism and attitudes make it a bellwether of social, economic and environmental trends in the United States and internationally," said Stella Theodoulou, interim dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, where the Center for Southern California Studies is housed. "It is incumbent upon us to consider the consequences of social, spatial and environmental inequity and its potential to spark conflict or create positive solutions. That is what we hope to do at the conference."

In addition to Cisneros and Reed, participants will include Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Jose Huizar and Judy Burton, CEO of the Alliance for Student Achievement, who will discuss the future of education in California.

Assistant Los Angeles Police Chief George Gasc—n, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Robin Toma, director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, will focus on urban justice.

Other participants include Alex Padilla, president of the Los Angeles City Council; Cynthia Rojas, an organizer with the Bus Riders Union; Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles; Joel Kotkin of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University; Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg; developer Tom Gilmore and Donald Spivack of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles.

For more information about the conference, call (818) 677-6518 or visit the Center for Southern California Studies' Web site at www.csun.edu/~cscs/CSCSmain_new.htm.


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