Thursday, April 28, 2016

AU President Dr. Carlos Campo Speaks to Race, Ethnic and Minority Issues Class

On April 20, 2016, students in Criminal Justice Professor Hedrick's SOC 301 (Race, Ethnic, and Minority Issues) class heard from AU's President, Dr. Carlos Campo, about his experiences as a Cuban-American.

Race, Ethnic and Minority issues, which is offered each semester and meets core credit for social sciences, allows students to examine the impact of living in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith, and multi-cultural society.

During his talk, President Campo brought up his struggles growing up with a Latino name in Miami, Florida, but not having the look or the Spanish language faculty of a Latino to back it up. He said many people had different expectations of him just because of his name, but he felt like he couldn’t live up to these expectations because he didn’t have the look that matched his name. As a result, President Campo believes that we as a society need to start to break down these barriers and quit labeling people. It is easier said than done, though. Our society needs to realize that if we quit labeling people as something that they are not, then they will turn out to be a totally different person or, rather, become the person they are supposed to be.

President Campo’s lecture on Latinos was enjoyed by the entire class.  “For someone who has as much knowledge and education as Dr. Campo, I expected him to have some insightful thoughts on the issues of race, but I never thought he would be so inspirational,” said Jessica James, a dual Criminal Justice/Social Work Major.  Ms. James further explained, “I appreciate Dr. Campo coming and talking to our class and opening my eyes to so many issues that I knew already existed, but I didn’t realize to the true extent how bad they were in our society. With Dr. Campo coming into a predominately white area, and becoming the first Latino president in AU’s history, he has already broken past so many barriers, and he continues to keep breaking down more of these. It is good to see that we have a president who cares so much and is so influential because that is what it will take to work down to the student level and have them start to take the same actions.”

"Truly it was great to have somebody who is Latino and who fully understands the issues and problems surrounding Latinos speak with clarity, personal insight, and from a balanced viewpoint on a topic that many try to make contentious,” said Professor Hedrick. 

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