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NMSU College of Education Fulton Chair hosts community series on equity and hope

"Exploring Equity, Community & Hope in New Mexico," a series of three community events, will be hosted this spring by New Mexico State University College of Education associate professor Azadeh Osanloo, who serves as the Stan Fulton Chair for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools.

Studio head shot of Azadeh Osanloo, NMSU College of Education Stan Fulton Chair.
Azadeh Osanloo, the New Mexico State University College of Education Stan Fulton Chair for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools, will host three community events on equity and hope this spring. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Osanloo said the three gatherings are intended to support the development of new relationships and networks in southern New Mexico, particularly between educators and the community, to share current experiences and collaborate in support of success for all students. All of the events are free and open to the community.

"As the Stan Fulton Chair, my aim in sponsoring these three events in Las Cruces is to spark some hearty dialogue about equity, community and hope. That is why it was essential to organize these events around the notion of community and informal spaces while keeping the opportunities free for attendees," Osanloo said. "In addition, people from different sectors of the community, from education, non-profit, public and private sectors, have all been encouraged to attend."

The first event, "An Evening Discussing Civil Rights, Activism & Community," will be Feb. 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the NMSU Dona Ana Community College East Mesa Campus Auditorium. The event includes a private screening of "The Last White Knight," by Emmy award-winning film producer and director Paul Saltzman, who also will speak at the event.

The second event, "Juntos! Working Together, Working as One," will be March 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., also at the DACC East Mesa Campus Auditorium. This event includes a screening of "Stolen Education" and discussion by Enrique Aleman, assistant vice president for student equity and diversity at the University of Utah and co-founder and co-director of the Adelante Partnership, a university-community partnership that seeks to raise awareness of higher education opportunities and to increase the expectation of university attendance and success among students, families and teachers at Jackson Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The third event, "Hope for Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty," will be May 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the NMSU Center for the Arts. Paul Gorski, associate professor at George Mason University and founder of EDChange, a coalition of education and activists who develop free social justice resources for educators, will speak about erasing the opportunity gap.

"I hope the experiences from these events is so positive that we can keep the dialogue going via a local NMSU-based conference next spring," Osanloo said.

Osanloo was named the Stan Fulton Chair in 2013. The chair was established to enhance communication among NMSU faculty, staff and students and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade constituents to improve border and rural schools. In this capacity, the chair works to expand, improve and coordinate existing outreach programs and research activities. The chair was established in 2005 and is funded in part by an endowed gift from Stan Fulton, a benefactor to the university and owner of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

The series of events has received support from the League of Women Voters, the NMSU College of Education's associate dean for research and NMSU's Borderlands Center for Educational Studies.