Jul 1, 2016

Harvard experts to suggest ideas for Mexican American Cultural Center in El Paso, Texas

Event announcement for city's new Mexican American Cultural Center

For information contact: Liz Chavez or Corinne Chacon 915 731-6686 310 721-4623 corinnechacondesign@gmail.com lizchavez@verizon.net

"Adelante Con Sabiduria/Advancement Through Wisdom" seeks to position El Paso's Mexican American Cultural Center as a premiere 21st Century Educational Institution

News Release

El Paso, Texas-June 30, 2016. Davíd Lee Carrasco, Ph.D and Neil L. Rudenstine, Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University, and Maria Luisa Parra-Velasco, Ph.D, also a professor at Harvard in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, are slated to provide a dual presentation about programming the El Paso Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) based on the “sabiduria, or wisdom,” of the culture with the goal of positioning the MACC as a premiere 21st Century educational institution for cultural preservation and scholarship.

Former Congressman
Silvestre Reyes
The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. July 1, 2016 at the Philanthropy Theater at the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center.

“We’re extremely grateful to our visiting scholars for the generous gift of their time and insight on this important project,” states former Congressman Silvestre Reyes, who serves as chairman of the El Paso Mexican American Cultural Institute, which coordinated the event.

“Few cities get the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art learning space that preserves our cultural heritage while simultaneously planting the seeds of meaningful work based upon academic achievement in many disciplines. Future generations will thank us for this investment.”

A native of El Paso, Davíd Carrasco is a Mexican-American historian of religions with particular interest in Meso-American cities as symbols, and the Mexican-American borderlands. His keynote will explore the meaning of “sabiduria,” the Spanish word for wisdom in relation to his credo that “we must find better ways to work together to help make the new demographic into a better democracy.”

His address will show how Mexican Americans have been and will be historically and culturally significant, as well as how the profound Mexican American ethnic complexity and practices of care giving are gifts to the future of U.S. democracy and embody the future. He will also address key choices cultural institutions can make in relation to education and the technological revolution.

Parra-Velasco’s presentation will introduce the newest theories in language sciences and education that highlight the importance and contributions of multilingual communities like El Paso.

According to Parra-Velasco, the new best practices to study and teach languages recommend that educators, administrators and families focus on and validate students’ multilingual abilities, multicultural identities, and the linguistic and cultural heritage at the core of their sense of identity and social responsibility. she will also include an emphasis on the key roles institutes like El Paso’s MACC can play in nourishing linguistic and cultural heritages of 21st century youth in the United States.

The event is being coordinated by the Mexican American Cultural Institute (MACI), with sponsorship support from the El Paso Community Foundation, El Paso Community College and La Red USA. The MACC is the result of a quality of life bond initiative that voters approved in 2012. A group of El Pasoans who are dedicated to working in partnership to develop programming and resources for the MACC formally incorporated in 2016 as the El Paso Mexican Cultural Institute (MACI).

Co-hosts will include Chamizal National Memorial, Texas Senate District 29 Heritage Tourism Advisory Committee, Bordersenses, Centro Cultural Mexicano Paso del Norte, El Paso County Historical Commission, El Paso Museums & Cultural Arts Department, Juntos Art Association, La Mujer Obrera, Lincoln Park Conservation Committee, Lulac Council 335, UTEP Chicano Studies Department, UTEP Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Wise Latina International.