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NMSU's Flores to address Hispanic philanthropy conference

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's executive vice president and provost, William Flores, will address a national audience of Hispanic leaders June 16 in San Diego at a conference to increase charitable funding for Latino communities.



NMSU's executive vice president and provost, William Flores, will address a national audience of Hispanic leaders June 16 in San Diego at a conference to increase charitable funding for Latino communities. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)


The conference, organized by the New America Alliance (NAA), aims to educate philanthropists and foundation leaders about the need for more educational and development opportunities for Hispanics, said Danny Villanueva, a founding NAA board member.

"We need to raise living standards and quality of life among Latinos to help them play a greater and more influential role in politics, business and society in general," Villanueva said.

Villanueva, a former NFL football star and Spanish-language television pioneer who now heads a venture capital firm in Los Angeles, nominated Flores to participate in a panel on education during the conference.

"We asked Flores to join the panel because he's becoming more and more a nationally recognized leader in finding innovative ways to get parents involved in the education of Hispanic youth," Villanueva said.

Flores said it's a unique opportunity to engage top corporate leaders and policy makers about improving educational opportunities for Hispanics.

"With the Latino population rapidly growing and the country becoming more dependent on Hispanic workers, it's critical that we increase the training and education of Hispanics to keep our labor force competitive in the global economy," Flores said. "We must provide Hispanics with the educational tools they need to succeed."

The immigration debate needs to be redirected to embrace the diversity of today's workforce and prepare the economy for the future, Flores said.

"There's increasing demand for highly educated people such as engineers, chemists and biologists," Flores said. "American businesses need innovation to stay competitive, and innovation comes from scholars and researchers. Through education, Hispanics can contribute more to the country's economic impetus while improving their own standard of living."

In addition to Flores, the education panel includes Harry Pachon, president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, and Gloria Rodriguez, founder and president of AVANCE Inc. Other panels during the three-day conference will focus on health, immigration and Hispanics in the entertainment industry, Villanueva said.

The NAA was formed in 2001 by former housing and urban development secretary Henry Cisneros, and by Raul Yzaguirre, then president and CEO of the National Council of la Raza, both of whom will speak at the conference.

Villanueva is a graduate of NMSU who is currently chairing the university's five-year "Doing What Counts" fundraising campaign to raise $150 million.

"Our motto in the NAA is 'Doing Well and Doing Good,'" Villanueva said. "Our efforts aim to empower Hispanics to do well in their chosen professions and to do good in their communities."