For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 280-8771

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2020

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Touro University’s Seeds for Social Change Speaker Series

Vallejo, Calif. (Sept 24, 2020):  Touro University California (TUC) is continuing its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with its 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. The series begins on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12 p.m. with a discussion on the challenges of working with a multiracial and multilingual community from Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado with UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education. Following Dr. Rivera-Salgado’s discussion will be a Diversity Now Panel at 3:30 p.m. on Zoom with Latina education leader activists on how to create more equitable educational experiences for the Latinx community. The Seeds for Social Change series is being held via Zoom on Wednesdays through October 14, 2020. All are welcome to attend this free event!


  • Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education Project Director,
  • Dr. Judy Castro, John F. Kennedy University Office of Student Experience Associate Vice President
  • Dr. Cesar Cruz, Homies Empowerment Co-Founder and Harvard University Dean of Secondary Schools Program
  • Lisette-Estrella Henderson, Solano County Superintendent of Schools
  • Mildred Gains, SERL Latino Family Engagement Specialist Executive Director
  • Alma Hernandez, Solano Hispanic Chamber President, Latinas DeSolano Founder, and Suisun City Council Candidate
  • Mina Loera-Diaz, Diaz & Loera Centro Latino Founder and Director
  • Dr. Lisa Norton, Touro University California Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences
  • Dr. Louise Santiago, Touro University California Assistant Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences and Director of the Graduate School of Education
  • Andrea Garcia, Touro University California Associate Vice President of Advancement


  • Interested members of the community
  • TUC faculty, staff, and students

WHERE: Free webinar via Zoom (please see the schedule below for link)

WHEN: A list of the series webinar topics and their speakers are listed below. We encourage you to attend any and all that interest you. Visit for individual Zoom links.

  • 09/30: Session 1, 12 to 1 p.m. – Hispanics and Latinos in California: The Challenges of Working with a Multiracial and Multilingual Community with Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado
  • 09/30: Diversity Now Panel, 3:30 p.m. – Latina Education Leader Activists: How Do We Create More Equitable Educational Experiences for Latinx Communities moderated by TUC’s Dr. Lisa Norton
  • 10/07: Session 2, 12 to 1 p.m.  – Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal: Dream, Believe, Act with Dr. Judy Castro
  • 10/14: Session 3, 12 to 1 p.m. – Honoring Latinx Culture, Roots and Our Collective History with Dr. Cesar Cruz

WHY: Hispanic Heritage Month is held from September 15 – October 15 to celebrate the various independence days and acknowledge the diverse cultures and contributions within the Hispanic and Latin diaspora. Originally started as a heritage celebration week in 1968, the observation was expanded to a full month in 1988. TUC provides a learning experience that promotes the acceptance and appreciation of diversity to prepare professionals for rewarding lives in service to others both locally and around the globe. To that end, the University is celebrating the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx individuals in order to inspire and empower its students, healthcare and educational professionals, and the larger Vallejo community with its Seeds for Social Change Speaker Series.

Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Ph.D.: 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).

Dr. Judy Castro, Ed.D.: 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.

Dr. Cesar Cruz: 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.

About the Touro College and University System: Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent, graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The University, home to approximately 19,000 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff, and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit or call 707-638-5200.

# # #

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: