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CHCI Virtual Briefing Series

June 3 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

 Education & Equity in a Post-COVID Society

Join us for the third installment of our “CHCI Virtual Briefing Series: Education & Equity in a Post-COVID Society.” This briefing will consist of two sessions:

Part one will focus on Pre-K-12 education with policy leaders and education experts who will discuss the needs of the teaching profession post-COVID-19, share best practices in teaching, adapting pedagogy to the digital classroom, and what can be done to strengthen education while forging a way forward for communities of color.

Part two will focus on Postsecondary education with national leaders discussing ways to advance and support success for Latino students in higher education as they navigate during a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting them in this time of uncertainty and financial volatility.

Registration information can be found below.

Ensure your top priorities are addressed by submitting your questions during registration.



Marco Davis

Marco A. Davis, President & CEO, CHCI

Marco A. Davis is the President and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and has more than 20 years of experience in leadership development, educational achievement, community advocacy, and civic engagement. Before taking this role at CHCI, he was a partner at New Profit, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy, where he led an effort to create a more equitable social sector, and served as organizational lead on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Davis served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and as the Director of Public Engagement for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Previously, he was Director of Global Fellowship and Regional Manager for Latin America at Ashoka’s Youth Venture and led leadership development for UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), creating the Líderes Initiative.

Davis serves on the boards of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) and Independent Sector, and represents CHCI on the boards of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). He was a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and Hispanics in Philanthropy NGen Lideres Fellow. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and an alumnus of Yale University. A New York native, Davis now lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and daughter.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3)

Representative Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3) began his career in public service as a community organizer in Tucson. Four decades later, he continues to be an advocate for those in need and a voice for the constituents of his home community. From 1974 to 1986, Raúl served on the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, including six years as Chairman. In 1988, he was elected to the Pima County Board of Supervisors, where he served for the next 15 years, chairing the Board for two of those years. Raúl resigned his seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2002 to seek office in Arizona’s newly created Seventh Congressional District. Despite a nine-candidate primary and the challenge of being outspent three-to-one by his closest competitor, Raúl was elected with a 20-point victory, thanks to a diverse coalition of supporters that led the largest volunteer-driven election effort in Arizona. Throughout his career, Raúl has always fought for underrepresented voices. The passions that drove him as a School Board member to fight for and succeed at implementing bilingual education in Arizona are the same passions that motivated him to help pass the first bond package containing a $10 million commitment to reinvest in older, poorer neighborhoods while he was a County Supervisor. Likewise, they are what drive him today as he fights to reform our broken immigration system, ensure livable wages for American workers, and create vital land protections to safeguard our nation’s natural treasures for the next generation. In 2018, Raúl became Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and is the Chairman Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as a long-standing member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association (NEA)

Lily Eskelsen García is president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union. Lily began her career in education as a school lunch lady and now leads a professional association of three million educators – she is the first Latina to lead the NEA and one of the country’s most influential Hispanic educators. Prior to assuming the top post, Lily served two terms as NEA Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer. She became a vocal critic of the standardized testing movement and raised alarms on the outsize role that testing is playing in public education: taking over the time students spend in the classroom, being used as a weapon against their teachers, and distracting from the real problem of unequal opportunities for students. Her new role is an extension of her teaching days in Utah. She was named Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989 after nine years in the classroom. She also worked with homeless children and gifted children; as a mentor for student teachers; and as a peer assistance team leader at Orchard Elementary School in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. In 1998 she attempted to put her 20 years of experience working with small children to practical use by becoming her party’s nominee for the U.S. Congress. The rookie effort didn’t work out but she made her mark: she was the first Hispanic to run for Congress in her state and earned 45 percent of the vote against the incumbent. Lily is a sought-after speaker and delivered keynote addresses at hundreds of education events across the country, earning her recognition by Education World in their “Best Conference Speakers” edition. She also blogs at “Lily’s Blackboard,” bringing a teacher’s voice to topical education issues. Her advice has been published in Parenting magazine and she has been featured on MSNBC, CNN en Español and as the voice of the noble opposition on Fox & Friends. Lily serves as the Vice President of Education International for the North America and Caribbean Region, pursuing a common course of action on issues like collective bargaining, raising student achievement, and adequate funding that resonate around the world. Most recently, Lily was appointed to serve on the Executive Committee as Secretary of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, providing leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging Latino leaders. Lily believes in the sacred duty of all educators to be professionals and to care for the whole student – mind, body and character – no matter how students arrive and no matter their learning conditions, their home conditions or their health conditions. She also believes that professionalism carries the responsibility to take action, individually and collectively, toward making the promise of public education a reality and preparing the whole and happy child to succeed in becoming a whole and happy adult. Lily is a graduate of the University of Utah, graduating magna cum laude in elementary education and later earning her master’s degree in instructional technology.

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members’ work. Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Washington Life magazine included Weingarten on its 2013 Power 100 list of influential leaders. Weingarten has launched major efforts to place real education reform high on the nation’s and her union’s agendas. She created the AFT Innovation Fund, a groundbreaking initiative to support sustainable, innovative and collaborative education reform projects developed by members and their local unions. At Weingarten’s direction, the AFT developed a model to transform teacher evaluations from a way of simply rating teachers to a tool for continuous improvement and feedback, and is using this model to align tenure and due process so that tenure serves as a guarantee of fairness, not of a job for life. Weingarten led an AFT committee that called for all prospective teachers to meet a high entry standard—as in medicine or law—so that they’re prepared from the day they enter the classroom. Weingarten oversaw the development of the AFT’s Quality Education Agenda, which advocates for reforms grounded in evidence, equity, scalability and sustainability. She promotes what she calls “solution-driven unionism”—an approach to collective bargaining and collective action that unites the interests of union members and those they serve in the pursuit of solutions that benefit students, schools and communities. Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. She is an active member of the Democratic National Committee and numerous professional, civic and philanthropic organizations. Born in 1957 and raised in Rockland County, N.Y., Weingarten now resides on Long Island and in Washington, D.C.

Patricia Gándara, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Co-Director, The Civil Rights Project, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Patricia Gándara, Ph.D., is Research Professor and Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. She is also Director of Education for the University of California-Mexico Initiative. Gándara is an elected fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Academy of Education. In 2011 she was appointed to President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and in 2015 received the Distinguished Career Award from the Scholars of Color Committee of the American Educational Research Association. She is also a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy, the French-American Association at Sciences Po Graduate Institute, Paris, and an ETS fellow at Princeton, New Jersey. Recent articles and book chapters, published in 2015, include “Charting the Relationship of English Learners and the ESEA: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back,” Russell Sage Volume on ESEA at 50; “Educating English Learners in the Aftermath of Horne v Flores,” In S. Biegel, R. Kim, & K. Welner, Education and the Law, Fourth Edition. New York: West-Thomson/Reuters (American Casebook Series). Her most recent books include: The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy, and the U.S. Labor Market (2014), with Rebecca Callahan, a compilation of studies that demonstrates the economic value of biliteracy in a rapidly globalizing world; Forbidden Language: English Learners and Restrictive Language Policies (2010) with Megan Hopkins, from Teachers College Press, and The Latino Education Crisis (2009) with Frances Contreras, from Harvard University Press. Reports include “Fulfilling America’s Future: Latinas in the U.S. 2015” (2015), Civil Rights Project and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and “Making Education Work for Latinas” (2014), Civil Rights Project with the Eva Longoria Foundation.

Rep. Gil Cisneros (CA-39)

Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. was sworn in as Representative of California’s 39th Congressional District on January 3rd, 2019 and is serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. California’s 39th District encompasses portions of Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. Congressman Cisneros currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC). He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the bipartisan For Country Caucus. He is a staunch advocate for our national defense, our servicemembers, and veterans. Congressman Cisneros was born and raised in Southern California and attended college on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) scholarship becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.  He currently holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The George Washington University, an MBA from Regis University, and a master’s degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Congressman Cisneros served as a supply corps officer in the United States Navy completing both a Western Pacific and Mediterranean deployment. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Prior to serving in Congress, He and his wife Jacki founded the Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros Foundation, which invests in college access and affordability programs for students and veterans. Jacki and Congressman Cisneros have been happily married for 14 years and are the proud parents of five-year-old twin boys.

Sarita E. Brown, Co-Founder and President. Excelencia in Education

Sarita E. Brown is the co-founder and President of Excelencia in Education. For more than 30 years, she has worked at prominent educational institutions and at the highest levels of government to implement effective strategies to raise academic achievement and increase opportunity for low-income and students of color. She started her career at The University of Texas at Austin by building a national model promoting minority success in graduate education. Coming to the nation’s capital to work for educational associations, Sarita was tapped to serve as Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans under President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. She later applied her talents and experience to the not-for-profit sector. Her efforts have been recognized with the Harold G. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education, the Truman Award from the American Association for Community Colleges, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the American Association of University Women and others. She has also been awarded honorary degrees from North Carolina State University, Carlos Albizu University and the University of Saint Joseph. An advocate for educational equity, Sarita currently serves on boards and advisory committees including the Editorial Projects in Education, the Center for First-generation Student Success and Excelencia in Education.


Shirley M. Collado, Ph.D., President, Ithaca College

Shirley M. Collado, Ph.D., is the ninth president of Ithaca College. She is known nationally for designing and implementing innovative approaches to higher education that expand student access and success, and has extensive experience overseeing complex not-for-profit organizations in both the private and public sectors of higher education. She is a national thought leader on developing successful cross-sector collaborations, building the capacity of equity, inclusion, and full participation in organizations, and strengthening the pathway to the professoriate and leadership roles in higher education. President Collado brings this inclusive, visionary approach to her leadership at Ithaca College. In her first year at IC, she launched two innovative efforts to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration and develop the talent of faculty, staff, and students: the President’s Seed Grant Initiative, which awarded grants to interdisciplinary teams for projects that enriched the campus community, and the President’s Fellows Program, which saw two faculty, two staff members, and two students move into positions outside of their typical professional or academic environment for one academic year. Additionally, under President Collado’s direction, the Ithaca College community launched a strategic planning process in the 2018-19 academic year, focused on creating a foundational blueprint for the future of the college that ensures a transformative student experience within a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning community. In partnership with a dynamic and bold senior leadership team, President Collado is dedicated to igniting creativity and full participation within the campus community, a continuation of her professional journey in higher education and the non-profit sector. President Collado took office on July 1, 2017. She also serves as a professor in Ithaca College’s Department of Psychology.


June 3
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm