José E. López Keynotes Latino Recognition Ceremony 2015 at Southern Illinois University

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By Michael Emmer, Puerto Rican Cultural Center 

On Saturday May 9th, 2015, the Hispanic/Latino Resource Center at Southern Illinois University invited Jose E. Lopez to Keynote the Latino Recognition Ceremony.

The program included remarks by Dr. Rene Francisco Poitevin, Coordinator, Hispanic/ Latino Resource Center and Dr. Katherine Sermersheim, Dean of Students. The introduction of the keynote speaker was made by Yahaira L. Heller, Student Staff, Hispanic/Latino Resource Center.

The ceremony is an annual event recognizing the achievement of Latino students from S.I.U. upon their graduation. The group of graduates included those receiving Bachelors, Masters and P.H.D. degrees.

After congratulating the graduates, Jose framed his remarks about their role as future citizens of the Americas, within the context of the following quote from the Brazilian educator, Paolo Freire: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”

His speech was warmly received by the students, parents, and faculty of Southern Illinois University who were present.