Raul Yzaguirre

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Addressing the social challenges facing the American Latino community.

Raul Yzaguirre grew up in Texas’s impoverished Rio Grande Valley, an experience that imbued in him a lifelong commitment to addressing the social and political challenges facing the American Latino community. Forty years after founding the National Organization for Mexican American Services and focusing on poverty and discrimination in Latino communities as head of the National Council of La Raza, Yzaguirre saw the increasing need to involve Latino parents in the education of their children. In his encore career, he’s now directing a parent education involvement program at Arizona State University’s Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, where he also serves as a professor of practice. The program has enrolled thousands of Latino parents in a nine-week course that empowers them to become successful advocates and partners in their children’s education. The Center also runs a research and demonstration project that aims to develop positive behaviors among Latino men, as well as a program that educates Latino families about financial literacy.

2015 Update: Ambassador Yzaguirre left ASU in 2010 to take a post in the Dominican Republic. He has since retired for health-related reasons, returning to Mount Airy, Maryland.