Rick Najera’s Latino Thought Makers Series at Morton College Kicks-Off with a Discussion about Higher Education in the Black & Brown Communities

Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at San Francisco State University and author Dr. Jamillah Moore along with the Executive Director of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) Leadership Fellows Program and adjunct professor, Dr Ted Martinez, Jr. will be the first guests of Rick Najera’s nationally acclaimed interview series, Latino Thought Makers on Friday, August 26th at 6:30pm live at Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804. The event is complimentary and open to the public and RSVP is required via Eventbrite.  

The Latino Thought Makers series at Morton College features four separate, live, sit-down interviews and personal conversations in Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center stage hosted by Najera, who taps into his network of influential and inspirational Latinos and Latinas in Hollywood.  

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A prominent social justice advocate and higher education leader, Dr. Moore is recognized as an advocate for educational access and equity with a focus on student success for minoritized and low-income students. Her approach in covering diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in higher education and their impact on access has garnered praise from intellectuals and activists. In addition to publishing and presenting on a variety of topics related to equity, she has become known for her passion for educational excellence, commitment to students, and ability to tackle difficult issues. Her work prioritizes populations that have been historically underrepresented and underserved in education and examines the intersection of race and access.  She is the author of Race and College Admission: A Case for Affirmative Action (McFarland 2022).  

Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr. has dedicated himself to education and has been a strong role model for Latinos in academia. He retired after a 41-year career, capped by service as the eighth Superintendent/President of Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA. He also served in teaching and administrative positions in Texas, Chicago and San Diego. He has served as a member of the AACC Board of Directors, was twice elected as president of the National Community College Hispanic Council. Dr. Martinez has been an effective force in building the NCCHC The Dr. Ted Martinez Jr Leadership Fellows Program to prepare Latina(o) administrators as future community college leaders at the executive level. He has also served as a board member of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, as president of the National Council for Occupation Education: and served as co-chair of the United States Department of Agriculture HACU Leadership Group.  

Latino Thought Makers builds bridges of understanding in cultural diversity through personal and comedic dialogue and showcases critical thinking as it relates to entertainment and education and provides the audience an opportunity to be a part of a greater dialogue and motivational story-telling experience.  

Morton college wants to educate and inform the Latino community about our issues and discuss solutions,” said Rick Najera. “Please come and join in on the conversation. “ 

Most recently, Rick Najera co-authored an Amazon top-seller book titled “Ignite the Fire Within: Master Your Speaking and Writing” with Harvard Professor Sanjiv Chopra. He has also written for film and television for over 20 years in Hollywood and performed on Broadway in New York in his self-written stage play, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin.  

Latino Thought Makers will also be broadcast live via Morton College’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

Latino Thought Makers with special guests Dr. Jamillah Moore and Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr. will take place on Friday, August 26, 2022 at 6:30pm, live at Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804. Parking is free and available on campus. The event is complimentary and open to the public; RSVP is required via Eventbrite.  

For more information on Latino Thought Makers, please visit www.morton.edu/latino-thought-makers/. Follow Morton College’s Facebook page for the announcement of future guests and shows.  

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