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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium recognized by YWCA El Paso del Norte Region

Devoted each year to an issue of concern to the state and region, New Mexico State University's annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium was a nominee for the El Paso del Norte Region 2011 YWCA Racial Justice Ambassador Award for its efforts and accomplishments in promoting racial justice throughout the region.

The J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium had its seventh annual event in late March and early April. As an expression of NMSU's land-grant mission, the symposium explores ways in which the university can partner with others to explore and address social justice issues facing the larger community, state and region. The symposium is dedicated to J. Paul Taylor, a retired New Mexico state representative and teacher, to honor his many years of social justice work in New Mexico.

"For the last seven years, the J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium has focused on our region's most pressing social justice issues, many of which are directly attributable to racial inequalities," said YWCA employee Cynthia Peak Hoffmann, who nominated the organization for the award. "Like its founder, J. Paul Taylor, the symposium is committed to using the core YWCA values of respect, acceptance, understanding and appreciation to public discussions of some of our region's most pressing social issues and encouraging solutions to problems that are socially and racially just."

This year's symposium focused on justice for the children of incarcerated and detained parents. It included a series of panels and discussions with 20 guest speakers from around the region and country who addressed the impact on children with imprisoned or detained parents in New Mexico. In addition, youth from the J. Paul Taylor Center were featured speakers and guests who read or performed creative work. The event culminated with working group sessions committed to a Children's Bill of Rights, which targeted opportunities for organizing sustainable change in policy and practice on behalf of these children.

"The NMSU symposium organizers and the College of Arts and Sciences are grateful that the YWCA has chosen to recognize the symposium and Mr. Taylor in this way," said Lisa Bond-Maupin, NMSU College of Arts and Sciences associate dean and symposium planning co-chair. "Our nomination for the Racial Justice Ambassador award indicates that the symposium is identified as a meaningful and important social justice action in the region."

YWCA El Paso del Norte Region's Racial Justice Ambassador Award is presented each year to those who demonstrate a commitment to the elimination of racism through advocacy, volunteerism, work initiatives and other endeavors.