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Lt. Gov. Denish to speak at J. Paul Taylor Symposium

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish will deliver the state keynote address at the J. Paul Taylor Symposium: Justice for Youth at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at New Mexico State University Corbett Center ballrooms. Denish will address the state's overall vision of the juvenile justice system and the challenges, obstacles and improvements needed in New Mexico.

New Mexico State University will host author and sociologist Pedro Noguera as the national keynote speaker for the J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium: Justice for Youth at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, at the Corbett Center ballrooms. (Courtesy Photo)

The 5th annual J. Paul Taylor Symposium will be held from April 14 to 16 at the Corbett Center ballrooms at the Las Cruces campus. The symposium is dedicated to Taylor's many years of social justice work in New Mexico. Taylor is a retired state representative and teacher who received his bachelor's, master's and an honorary doctorate degree from NMSU. The Symposium was created as a mechanism to explore the role of NMSU in partnering with others to explore and address the social justice issues facing the larger community, state and region.

Pedro Noguera will be the national keynote speaker on the opening night of the symposium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, and will address juvenile justice topics from an educational perspective. Noguera is a professor of teaching and learning at the Steinhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University. He is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). An urban sociologist, Noguera's scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment.

It is within that expertise that Noguera will discuss how a prevailing sense of education can change a young person's life. A solid foundation for an education can keep youth out of prison. And, from a sociological standpoint, Noguera believes there aren't many differences between a child growing up in New York City and one in New Mexico. He will also discuss ways in which educators, policymakers, students and others can assist in dismantling the school to prison pipeline. The issues of health, education and juvenile justice, to be addressed at the symposium, affect each other and in turn affect us all, Noguera said.

"These issues are all connected. There is a lot we can do to prevent youth incarceration, for instance, by providing a better education and meeting sociological needs," Noguera said.

His lecture will also point to strategies that are being used by a small number of successful schools to provide support to at-risk students. He will explain the findings from a national research project on black and Hispanic males to make the case for prevention strategies that move kids from risk to resilience.

Noguera has a Ph.D. in sociology from University of California, Berkeley and a master's and bachelor's degree in sociology from Brown University.

For a complete schedule of symposium events or to register visit http://jpts.nmsu.edu