University News

UCLA and Univision to host 'Today is the Future,' a town hall on education

UCLA and Univision Communications will co-host a Spanish-language town hall and an English-language webcast focused on the urgency of closing the Latino education gap and increasing the number of Latino students who go on to higher education. 
Moderated by award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos, co-anchor of "Noticiero Univision," the town hall will take place Friday, Oct. 4 at UCLA's Ackerman Grand Ballroom in front of an audience of students, parents and teachers. Speakers will include distinguished educators, policymakers, community leaders and academics who will address questions from the audience and from viewers via social media. The one-hour special will air nationally in Spanish on the Univision Network on Saturday, Oct. 5. A one-hour webcast in English will be streamed live from the event on
The "Today is the Future" town hall will delve into the often-overlooked topic of how improving Latinos' educational achievement is key to America's prosperity and global competitiveness.
UCLA is the most applied-to university in the country and almost 75 percent of Los Angeles Unified School District students are Latino. The institution and the city are ground zero for many of the major demographic changes that ultimately will affect the future of the nation's workforce and economy.
"As a world-class university centered in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we are proud of our partnership with Univision and excited to host this important discussion," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "As a public institution, we remain committed to providing access and opportunities for students of all backgrounds, and to working with our partners on and off campus to have a student body that looks more like our state and our nation."
With 37 percent of its undergraduates coming from low-income families, and 36 percent whose parents have not graduated from a four-year university, UCLA is one of the most socioeconomically diverse universities in the country.
UCLA faculty and students are actively engaged in efforts to discover and put into place best practices for educating all children, including Latinos, and teaching the skills, competencies and sensibilities they will need to thrive in 21st century America.
Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and a panelist for the town hall, is an authority on immigration, globalization and education. He has written extensively on Latino education, including the award-winning books "Transformations: Immigration, Family Life and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents," co-authored with his wife Carola Suárez-Orozco, and "Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society," co-authored with Carola Suárez-Orozco and Irina Todorova. 
"The 21st century will be the Latino education century," Suárez-Orozco said. "By 2050 Latinos will comprise 30 percent of the U.S. population. California will lead the nation and Los Angeles will lead California in this extraordinary demographic journey. Latinos are remaking America, and we at UCLA are studying, learning about and celebrating this transformation. We are proud to join Univision in convening the education town hall at UCLA to start what we hope will be a national conversation." 
Other town hall panelists and guest experts include: 
  • Alejandra Ceja, executive director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • John Deasy, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Antonio Flores, president and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Ana "Cha" Guzman, president, Santa Fe Community College
  • Glenn Llopis, founder, Center for Hispanic Leadership
  • Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research, Pew Research Center
  • Michele Siqueiros, executive director, Campaign for College Opportunities
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will also be a special guest during the webcast portion of the town hall.
Town hall sponsors include the Bezos Family Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the California Community Foundation, Lumina Foundation and the Marguerite Casey Foundation.
All media are invited to cover the town hall.  For broadcast media, however, all interviews and video will be embargoed until the town hall airs on Univision Network, Saturday, Oct. 5 from 4–5 p.m.  
Friday, Oct. 4
8:30 a.m. – noon (Registration from 8:30–9:30 a.m.)
UCLA's Ackerman Grand Ballroom (map)
308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095
The town hall will begin taping at 10 a.m. Doors will be closed for the duration of the taping.
The webcast will be streamed live from 11 a.m. to noon.
Ricardo Vazquez, 310-206-3986 (office), 310-721-2749 (cell), 
Liz Boatright-Simon, 310-206-1458 (office), 310-466-8769 (cell),
Media should park in Parking Structure 4, located at Sunset Blvd. and Westwood Plaza (map)
Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Its assets include Univision Network, one of the top five networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country reaching 96 percent of U.S. Hispanic households; UniMás, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network reaching 89 percent of U.S. Hispanic households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the country's leading Spanish-language cable network, as well as Univision tlnovelas, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to novelas, Univision Deportes Network, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to sports, ForoTV, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to news, and an additional suite of six cable offerings — De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson, Telehit and Distrito Comedia; UVideos, the first bilingual digital network serving Hispanic America; Univision Studios, which produces and co-produces reality shows, dramatic series and other programming formats for the Company's platforms; Univision Television Group, which owns and/or operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Hispanic radio group which owns and/or operates 69 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Interactive, a network of products and offerings including, which continues to be the No. 1 most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. online Hispanics, Univision Móvil, a longstanding industry-leader with unique, relevant mobile products and services, and Univision Partner Group, a specialized advertising and publisher network. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. 
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and six faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
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