NBC isn’t the only major network taking stock of the nation’s education woes this year with its “Education Nation” summit, which was broadcast in September. Sunday, Univision Networks kicked off “Edúcate, Es el Momento” (Educate Yourself, The Moment Is Now), a seven-day multi-platform initiative to promote Hispanic educational attainment.
From workshops in Chicago, L.A., Miami and New York, to special programming, and a town hall meeting in Washington, D.C. with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís today, the weeklong event is meant to draw attention to the issues Hispanic students face in K-12, college readiness, and high school and college completion.
“We want to help foster a college-bound culture,” Univision Networks President César Conde told Diverse.
The network will air special coverage on Univision as well as on its other properties such as TeleFutura, Galavision, Univision Local Media, radio stations and eselmomento.com, said Conde. A variety of Univision programs from the sports show “República Deportiva,” to the talk show “Don Francisco Presenta,” to the newsmagazine program “Aquí y Ahora,” to its nightly newscast will highlight the education issues Hispanics face.
“Hispanics now represent the largest minority group in K-12 and are the fastest-growing segment of students,” said Conde. However, college completion stands at just 19.2 percent — below the national average of 41.1 percent, according to a report by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.”
“Edúcate, Es el Momento,” which was launched in 2010, is being hosted in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and civic and community leaders nationwide. Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stated, “It is a crime to dash the dreams and waste the talent of even one Latino student. As a society, we need to set the expectation that all students will get a degree beyond high school with real value in the workplace.”
A few of the reports that will be part of the programming include: a story of a Mexican-American MIT student who is the first person in her family to go to college; a look at Hispanic prodigies in math and science; the story of an 18-year-old undocumented student at Stanford University; and celebrities talking about their commitment to education.
In addition, many more leaders like Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Univision board member Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón will be part of the discussion.
“Now is truly the moment for the Latino community to do all it can to focus on the importance of education,” said Solís. “I commend Univision on their commitment to spreading the word about this issue.”
Univision also has started a $300,000 scholarship program called “Becas Univision” as part of the initiative.
“The success of our community is tied to the success of the United States, and it is critical that Hispanic America leverage all the resources available to maximize their academic potential and further increase educational attainment among Hispanics,” said Conde. “That is the call to action we have with our ‘Edúcate, Es el Momento’ education week.”
For live-streams of events and information on programming, please view www.eselmomento.com .