Seeds for Social Change

Hispanic Heritage Month, TUC LogoWe are continuing our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a new Seeds for Social Change speaker series! For the next three Wednesdays, join a diverse group of sociology and education leaders as they discuss the diverse cultures and contributions within the Hispanic and Latin diaspora.

Recorded Sessions

September 30, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (PST):
Hispanics and Latinos in California: The Challenges of Working with a Multiracial and Multilingual Community

Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education Project Director

With a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado currently acts as Project Director at UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education where he teaches classes on Work, Labor and Social Justice in the US and immigration issues. In addition, Dr. Gaspar has extensive experience in consultation on transnational migration, race and ethnic relations and diversity training for large organizations. Notable publications include Indigenous Mexican Migration in the United States (UCSD 2005) and Just Neighbors?: Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States (Russell Sage, 2011).

To view the recording visit:

September 30, 3:30pm (PST):
Latina Education Leader Activists - How do we create more equitable educational experiences for Latinx Communities?

This session will focus on Latina education leaders and the complexity of inherently sexist and racist systems in education. Based on the research of Dr. Lisa Norton, the panel will explore the experiences and research around Latina leaders specifically looking at impact of these structures on Latinx learning communities and their dreams and visions for long-term re-imagining for all of our Solano County children.  

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October 7, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (PST):
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal: Dream, Believe, Act

Dr. Judy Castro, John F. Kennedy University Office of Student Experience Associate Vice President

As the Associate Vice President of the Office of Student Experience at John F. Kennedy University, Dr. Judy Castro is responsible for student facing programs that support students’ academic journeys and co-authored the Hispanic Serving Institution Grant obtaining a $2.6 million award from the Department of Education in 2015. In addition, Dr. Castro has helped organizations across the globe understand that leadership can be developed by strengthening the connect between, and alignment of, individual leaders and the systems through which they influence organizational operations. She holds a doctorate in education with a focus on organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. 

To view the recording visit:

October 14, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (PST): 
Honoring Latinx Culture, Roots and Our Collective History

Dr. Cesar Cruz, Homies Empowerment Co-Founder and Harvard University Dean of Secondary Schools Program

Raised in Compton, CA, Dr. Cesar Cruz became the first in his family to graduate high school, UC Berkeley and Harvard University with a doctorate in Educational Leadership. He has been an educator since 1994 and is currently overseeing the Homies Empowerment Program based in Oakland, which serves 25,200 meals weekly through its FREEdom Store. He is also designing an ethnic studies high school for youth pushed to the margins. 

To view the recording visit:


The beginning of the celebration was chosen as it is the Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile, celebrate their independence just days later, Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Originally started as a heritage celebration week in 1968, the observation was expanded to a full month in 1988.

Help Touro celebrate Hispanic history and culture throughout the month. Be sure to look for personal testimonies on social media from Hispanic students, faculty, staff, and alumni.



Hispanic Heritage Month - Madelyn Garcia

"Latino Heritage Month is a crucial (necessary and much needed!) period of time to celebrate, honor and acknowledge the blood, sweat and tears that Latinos, for many, many years have now contributed to advancing the nation. Latinos are an ever-growing population and Spanish is the second most common language spoken in the US. What does this mean? We are here to stay and will continue to build and be strong contributing members of our communities.

I truly love seeing different programs and social media campaigns highlighting Latinas/os. I looove being Dominican and am practically beaming with pride the entire month as I continuously get exposed to our rich history and achievements by fellow comadres/compadres.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month allows younger generations to be proud and pay homage to all those who have come before us. More importantly, as a younger generation of Latinos we are motivated, inspired and moved to continue plowing forward - despite the setbacks, despite the red tape, despite the imposter syndrome.

Con fé, pa'lante mi gente!"

Madelyn Garcia, MPH
Public Health Program, Class of 2017
College of Education and Health Sciences

Hispanic Heritage Month - Romero

"To be an American with a Latino heritage means being able to speak two languages and have two different cultures. We have a beautiful culture such as big families, dancing, music, and delicious foods, and we are able to share these cultures with everyone."

Erendira Romero
Executive Assistant to the Dean
College of Education and Health Sciences

Hispanic Heritage Month - Santiago "As a Latina, I learned the gift of resilience! Always raised with the idea that when difficult arises, we simply throw it over our shoulder and move on has seen me through great challenges and great successes."


Louise Santiago, PhD
Assistant Dean and Director, Graduate School of Education
Assistant Professor and Chair, Educational Leadership
College of Education and Health Sciences

Hispanic Heritage Month

"For me, Hispanic (and Latino) Heritage Month, means the memories of eating the arepas my dad made growing up.

It means remembering conversations with my abuelita in Spanish about her life adventures. It means reminiscing about my first visit to Colombia at the age of 21, the home of my ancestors, and finally feeling a sense of comunidad and identity.

The beauty of this month is that it has a personal meaning for everyone. It is a time when we celebrate and commemorate all the contributions that Latino and Hispanic people have made throughout history.

This is a time for everyone to learn about Hispanic and Latino history, and personally, I find solace in being a part of a community with shared values, food, culture, and language. I am proud to be Colombian-American and have the opportunity to share my unique experiences with everyone."

Student Doctor Camilo Pardo
College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hispanic Heritage Month

"I think it’s important for us as Americans to celebrate the different cultures that make up this country. Latin American culture is very diverse but we are proud of our heritage and we appreciate people taking the time to learn more about our history and our contributions to America."

Student Doctor William Okerblom
College of Osteopathic Medicine

Delia Jimenez

"Every journey is different and tells a story, and I hope my story can bring sense to why it is so important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month not only allows Hispanics to be proud of their roots and triumphs but allows other populations to see how Hispanics have contributed to this nation."

Student Doctor Delia Jimenez
College of Pharmacy


“Hispanic numbers are underrepresented in our California university system. And even more grossly in graduate and professional programs. Although underrepresentation has been improving over the last decade in California. As a cumulative population, there is still plenty of work to be done by myself and others that are in the frontlines of healthcare educational advancements.

The pharmaceutical profession in California is mainly represented by a few ethnic groups. Amazing advancements have been done in this profession already through this disproportionate representation. However, in the state of California Hispanic numbers are exponentially rising. I wish to continue to move us forward as a future healthcare provider that can better relate to the exponential rise in our Hispanic population.

How often do we come across a pharmacist that could speak Spanish? The answer should statistically correlate with “not often”. Now that I am older and have been distant from my Los Angeles hometown for a few years now. I now have an enhanced understanding of this vastly complex imbalancement.

Our often oppressive educational system, along with the educational backlashing of our heritage can make personal advancements unachievable at times. Also, the fissured roots to our educational system run deep and in order for us to progress as a population we need remembrances such as Hispanic Heritage Month. HHM should be a beacon of light to our underrepresentation. As a Hispanic whole, we are inadvertently required to dig deeper in order for our roots to be liberated and for there to be a presence of sensational exponential growth."

Student Doctor Luis Corona
College of Pharmacy

Sarah Aguilar-Vreeburg

"For me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to both celebrate and explore the culture and achievements of a remarkable group of people, while also thinking about the ways we can promote and further contribute to society.

Although Hispanics comprise the largest ethnic minority in the United States, less than 5% of pharmacists across the country are Hispanic.

We still have a lot of work to do in order to make sure minorities such as us are well-represented and well-cared for, and as a proud Latina student pharmacist, I am honored to partake in that journey."

Student Doctor Sarah Aguilar Vreeburg
College of Pharmacy

Andrea Garcia

"Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is good for the soul. It’s a moment in time for deep reflection on the contributions Hispanics and Latinos have made in the U.S. And this hits home.

My parents proudly came to the U.S. in 1960 with the desire to be part of, and contribute to, this great nation.

Although my dad held three jobs to support his family of four, he always found time to ensure that my knowledge of his Argentine culture was never forgotten. It’s poetic tangos, European styled food, and a language that sounds like a song when spoken, runs deep through my veins every day. It is my definition.

I continued this tradition by educating my children on their heritage. And I educate my friends by cooking Argentine meals taught to me by the defined hands of my amazing mother.

We have given flavor, or sazon, to this country through our food, our language and countless work hours in order to create a broader and greater palette in this nation. And I couldn’t be prouder."

Andrea E. Garcia, MBA
Associate VP of Advancement
Touro University California

Richie Duenas

"This month we celebrate those of us bonded by language, history and culture for our contributions and achievements to the United States. What we call ourselves or how we identify our culture is the spice in our proverbial American Melting Pot. A realization of countless dreams in which each one had to overcome adversity and circumstance.

As a country, we grapple with social, economic, and racial inequalities every day. Our ability to put faith in our educational institutions gives us hope that the hard work and sacrifice our Abuelos put in were not in vain, that their dreams are our dreams, so that we may pursue happiness, pursue our purpose, and expand upon our civil liberties. Let us work together in the spirit of a concerted Raza to put effort into what can be instead of what isn’t.

This month let us not forget the heroes we see in our community, in our families and in our homes. Let us celebrate the stories that inspire us y a dar apoyo to all the young dreamers that look to us for guidance and pride. “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path as well.”

Richie Duenas, PharmD
CEO, Mercury Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy, Class of 2009