Latino Male Symposium Focuses On Critical Role Women Play in Boys' School Success June 17, 2013

Project MALES mentors and mentees.

Around 150 education and civic leaders gathered on the UT Austin campus June 7 for the third annual Latino Male Symposium, an event created to increase the number of Latino males who stay in high school and pursue a college education.

Victor Saenz, an associate professor in UT-Austin’s College of Education and expert on Latino/a academic achievement, is co-founder of the symposium. It was co-hosted by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Project MALES, of which Saenz is co-founder and executive director.

“We have to engage in courageous conversations about all of the issues surrounding Latino males’ education outcomes,” said Saenz. “We have to construct creative partnerships between schools, colleges, businesses and communities – with all of the stakeholders – and that’s what Project MALES is doing. We’re working with partners who are deeply embedded in public schools, and the object is to get everyone sitting at the table and talking, sharing, working out solutions.”

This year’s event included:

  • a report from Project MALES director Saenz on three years of research into Latino males in Texas colleges and universities
  • a panel titled “What We Can Learn From Latina-Focused Organizations,” featuring leaders from Con Mi MADRE, Latinitas and Las Comadres Para Las Americas
  • remarks from guest speaker Rep. Mary E. Gonzalez

The keynote address was delivered by Luis Ponjuan, an associate professor in Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University, and co-founder of Project MALES. Ponjuan discussed the development of the new Texas Education Consortium for Male Student Success and current challenges that educators face in working with male students of color.

Last updated on June 25, 2013