January 11, 2000
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu and
Patricia Wright, 661/664-2138 or pwright@csub.edu

Espy Is Keynote Speaker At Symposium

A former U.S. agriculture secretary and a leading demographer headline an educational symposium on race and diversity issues scheduled Saturday, Jan. 22, at California State University, Bakersfield.

Mike Espy, who served as the first agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, is the luncheon keynote speaker for the symposium, which begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. Espy is credited with reorganizing the Agriculture Department and negotiating multilateral trade agreements providing greater access to foreign markets for American agricultural products.

The youngest person and first African-American to serve as secretary of agriculture, Espy also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from his home state Mississippi, and assistant state attorney general and assistant secretary of state for Mississippi.

David E. Hayes-Bautista, an authority on the changing demographics in California, will discuss the growth of the Hispanic market in California, and marketing to that population.

Hayes-Bautista is professor of medicine and director of the Center for The Study of Latino Health at the UCLA School of Medicine. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed his master's and doctorate in medical sociology at UC San Francisco. His research focuses on the dynamics and processes of the health of the Latino population using both quantitative data sets and qualitative observations.

The symposium will also feature four panel discussions dealing with media issues, health and human service issues, criminal justice issues and public policy issues as they relate to race and diversity.

"We want to promote positive changes in the community by reducing intolerance, promoting diversity and maintaining ongoing dialogue on these issues," said Nieves Rubio of the Kern County Mental Health Department, one of the sponsors of the symposium. "The forum will allow for a safe and constructive dialogue about the impact race and diversity has on our society. We also hope to raise awareness of how each of us views our differences."

Sponsors of the event include CSUB, Kern County Mental Health Department, NAACP, National Association of Social Workers, Pacific Bell, Chain Younger Cohn & Stiles law office, Human Relations Commission, Memorial Center, Pride Coalition and Kern County Supervisor Pete Parra.

Continuing education credits are available for professionals, and CSUB students attending the symposium may apply for one unit of credit through CSUB.

Registration begins Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., with the first session at 8 a.m. The symposium concludes at 1:30 p.m. The $15 registration fee includes lunch. The symposium will be held in CSUB's Dore Theater with lunch scheduled in the CSUB cafeteria.

To make a reservation, please call Terry Stevenson at 661/868-6725. For more information about the symposium please call CSUB professor Luis Vega at 661/664-3024, or Lily Alvarez at the Mental Health Department at 661/868-6705.