IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – Teachers, students, and members of the community gathered in Iowa City Saturday for a day filled with panels, speakers, and presentations. All of those aimed to discuss ways the Latinx population can better excel in terms of education.
Saturday, The University of Iowa's College of Education held its first ever Latinx Educational Excellence in the Midwest Conference.
“There's a misconception that Latin Americans are newcomers to the Midwest, particularly to Iowa, but that is not true there’s established families that have been here for a long time. Latinos in the Midwest seem to be kind of invisible to the Latino narrative, which focuses on the southwest and California. This is really making it more visible that Latinos are here and there are needs that need to be met educationally in the this case, in Iowa, and across the Midwest," Lead Student Organizer Carla Gonzalez said.
Needs like equity, support, and creating programs that can help assist. The Latinx population is one of the fastest growing minority populations in the state. Which is why Gonzalez said this conference is so important.
“Their educational attainment is much lower than their white counterparts, or even against any other ethnicity. They’re achieving lower, they’re not getting a Bachelor's degree at the same rate, or higher ed, so it's super important because the demographic is only going to grow, studies show that in the state of Iowa, in like 25 years, it's going to double, the population," Gonzalez said.
Organizers hope to hold more conferences in future, as well as equip educators and administrators with the tools they need to help members of the demographic.