Members of Congress, Celebrities, and Cabinet Secretaries Join CHCI’s 2012 Public Policy...

Members of Congress, Celebrities, and Cabinet Secretaries Join CHCI’s 2012 Public Policy Conference

Annual Event Celebrates CHCI's 35th Anniversary with Public Policy Discussions, Focus on Latino Contributions


WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) today announced the full schedule for its 2012 Public Policy Conference to be held September 10-12, 2012, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. CHCI will bring together Cabinet Secretaries, elected officials, celebrities, national experts, community activists, educators and more to discuss critical issues facing the Latino community and the nation. The event officially kicks off CHCI’s 35th Anniversary Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) Events.

( Logo: )

CHCI 2012 Public Policy Conference Schedule

CHCI 2012 Public Policy Conference Media Credentials

This year’s HHM theme—CHCI at 35: Keeping the Founders’ Promise—is a tribute to the organization’s founders, who in 1978 had a vision to create transformative programs that empower young Latinos and develop the next generation of Latino leaders.

Scheduled to Attend CHCI’s 2012 Public Policy Conference

CHCI Chair Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez

Hon. Shaun Donovan, Secretary of HUD

Hon. Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor

Hon. Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

Senator Robert Menendez

House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer

Rep. Joe Baca

Rep. Xavier Becerra

Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Raul Grijalva

Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

Rep. Grace Napolitano

Rep. Ed Pastor

Rep. Pedro Pierluisi

Rep. Silvestre Reyes

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Del. Gregorio Sablan

Rep. Albio Sires

Rep. Linda Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez

Hollywood Film Director David Ayer

Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo

Telemundo News Anchor Jose Diaz-Balart

Telemundo Correspondent Norma Garcia

Latina Pioneer Dolores Huerta

Telemundo Correspondent Lori Montenegro Salsa Recording Artist Frankie Negron

Actor Michael Pena

Actor Tony Plana

Actress Gina Rodriguez

CNN News Anchor Zoraida Sambolin

Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas

Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams

This year CHCI is going social so that more can enjoy the 2012 Public Policy Conference and 35th Anniversary Awards Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Facebook is the official CHCI Social Media Partner and CHCI will be highlighting and integrating Facebook questions throughout the main stage conference sessions. Thanks to AT&T, CHCI’s Technology Partner, CHCI is also web streaming live the five main stage sessions via its Facebook platform. Please “Like” CHCI at to fully experience the event.

CHCI 2012 Public Policy Conference Main Stage Sessions

Tuesday, September 11

Opening Plenary: Latino in America: Past, Present and Future

The Latino life experience in America is unique and yet diverse and Latinos’ contributions to America are many. Distinguished and notable voices from several Latino generations will highlight what makes America strong and what unifies our community. CHCI President & CEO Esther Aguilera will open the annual conference and 35th anniversary celebration.

Opening Luncheon: Latina Pioneers

Trailblazing Latinas who have broken down will lead this inspiring celebratory lunch. CHCI Chair Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez will open the celebration and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa will award the 2012 CHCI Distinguished Alumnus Medallion before the distinguished group of Latina pioneers takes the stage to share their personal success and inspirational stories.

Wednesday, September 12

Closing Plenary: The Economy, Jobs, and U.S. Competitiveness: Latinos Lead the Way

This session will be framed by top experts in the key demographic areas of strength currently in the main stream with respect to Latinos: consumer buying power and voting strength. Then some of the most influential and powerful Latinos will take the stage for a high-level discussion on the economy, jobs, the future competitiveness of the United States, and Latinos role and prospects as the country recovers. More than ever the future economic success lies with Latinos in this country and this session will be a must attend to hear from some of the most important leaders in the country from different sectors.

Closing Luncheon: Latinos in the Media

In today’s multi-media world and daily onslaught of information, the portrayal of Latinos is one of great responsibility that carries both short-term and long-term consequences. CHCI will explore the positive and negative portrayal of Latinos in the media and corporate media companies’ responsibility to fairness in covering news related to Latinos in light of the newly released National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) report on hate speech in this country. This critical discussion will open with the film trailer for “End of Watch” with director David Ayer and actor Michael Pena joining the session.

Latino Youth Town Hall: Empowering Latino Youth — Educate. Vote. Lead.

The future of our nation lies in the minds, hands, and power aspirations of young Latinos. Our community’s youth must be educated, civically engaged, and prepared to lead us through the 21st Century and beyond. The issues facing our youth with respect to education attainment, civic engagement in particular voting, and the empowerment needed for their leadership to take form will be given voice through this interactive session. Registration is free.

Latino Leaders Summit Series

Held over a two day period, CHCI’s Latino Leaders Summit Series features members of Congress and national experts addressing the most pressing issues facing the Latino community.

Tuesday, September 11

Immigration – Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Title: The Road Ahead: From Deferred Action to Immigration Reform

The Obama Administration’s announcement of deferred action for DREAMers was a tremendous victory for Latinos and immigrants who have fought for change in U.S. deportation policies and represents the most significant progress in resolving the plight of undocumented immigrants in a decade. This summit will review this policy, the efforts underway to enroll the estimated 800,000 or more who likely qualify, and how our communities can take advantage of this significant down payment on relief for the undocumented to ensure the enactment of a broader set of reforms in 2013.

Early Education – Rep. Raul Grijalva

Title: “Adequate or Inadequate? Does our current early childhood education policy serve Latino children?”

Latino children are the fastest-growing segment of the child population, yet have the least access to early education programs. This summit will focus on efforts to protect, promote and reform early public education in a manner that best serves Latino students. Panelists will discuss funding for early public education as well as the demographic, linguistic and cultural change in public schools.

Mental Health – Rep. Grace Napolitano

Title: “Latina Youth Suicide Prevention: Stemming the Alarming Suicide Attempts”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009 one out of every seven high school age Latina teens, or 14 percent, attempted suicide. Latina high school students have higher attempted suicide rates than white non-Hispanic (7.7 percent) or black non-Hispanic (9.9 percent) girls their age. Panelists will discuss factors contributing to young Latina suicide attempts and focus on available treatments.

Hispanic Veterans/Diversity in the Military – Reps. Silvestre Reyes and Jim Costa

Title: “Helping our Military Heroes: Opportunities during Service and Jobs in Civilian Life”

Latinos are the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Yet it is not reflected in the military leadership ranks. Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only eight percent are black and five percent Hispanic. When they return from war our soldiers face challenges gaining employment. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have a 12.1 percent overall jobless rate, but 30.2 percent of second Gulf War veterans ages 18 to 24 are unemployed and 13 percent of those aged 25 to 34 are unemployed. Panelists will discuss the need for diversified military leadership and employment obstacles for veterans returning to civilian life.

Diversity/Technology – Rep. Joe Baca

Title: “Diversity in Corporate America/ Transformation of Hispanics in Telecommunications”

Panelists will discuss Hispanic diversity in Corporate America, as it pertains to best practices in diversity inclusion. Panelists will also examine the communications industry and how we can better connect the talented, educated, and motivated Latino community with the booming telecommunications industry. As the Hispanic population continues to increase, equal representation in one of America’s fastest growing industries is essential.

Wednesday, September 12

Labor – Rep. Ed Pastor

Title: “Estamos en la lucha– The Battle to Preserve Workers’ Rights”

This panel will explore the recent efforts at the state level to strip workers of their basic rights on the job. These efforts have resulted in initiatives to take away collective bargaining rights, lower prevailing wages, undermining pensions and retirement security, limit unemployment benefits, and a variety of other punitive measures that have put a target on the backs of hard working families.

Health – Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Title: “Diabetes and Obesity in the Latino Community: Reversing the Trend”

Description: People who are overweight are more at risk for diabetes. The obesity rate among Hispanics is as high as ever. The risk of Latinos being diagnosed with diabetes is 66 percent higher than non-Hispanic white adults. Nearly 12 percent of Latinos compared to seven percent of non-Hispanics are diagnosed diabetics. Panelists will discuss risk factors, barriers to care, and prevention of diabetes and obesity.

STEM – Rep. Ruben Hinojosa

Title: “STEM/Energy Careers and Jobs: Preparing our Students to Compete”

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields are a growing sector of our economy, yet many STEM jobs go unfilled because of the lack of educational opportunity, preparation, support, and mentoring for underrepresented students who hope to enter and contribute to the STEM fields. In particular there is a need to attract and invest in Latino and African American populations to fill these high paying jobs in the oil and gas sectors. Panelists will discuss STEM opportunities, strategies to fill the education gap, obstacles that need to be addressed, and the impact of Latinos in the growing STEM job market.

The 2012 CHCI Public Policy Conference supports the organization’s award-winning leadership development programs. For 35 years CHCI’s programs—Ready to Lead, High School Latino Leaders in D.C., Scholarships, Internships, and Fellowships—have made a powerful, positive difference in the lives thousands of Latino youth and young professionals.

CHCI’s 35th Anniversary Hispanic Heritage Month also includes the following events:

September 11, 2012

Washington, D.C. Ready to Lead College Readiness for High School Students

September 12, 2012

CareerLider Live Job Fair Free Registration

12th Annual Reyes of Comedy (Invitation Only)

September 13, 2012

35th Anniversary Awards Gala

Media credentials are needed to attend these events. No media will be allowed in sessions without CHCI press badge. CHCI 2012 Public Policy Conference Media Credentials

About CHCI

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771, visit, or join us on Facebook, Twitter (chci), LinkedIn, and YouTube.

SOURCE Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Members of Congress, Celebrities, and Cabinet Secretaries Join CHCI’s 2012 Public Policy Conference