December 2015 Quarterly Newsletter

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year


As 2015 comes to a close, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society program is delighted to share with you some of our first year accomplishments. Under the leadership of Executive Director, Abigail Golden-Vazquez and Program Chair, Monica Lozano, we have begun to make important inroads into deepening understanding of the diversity and contributions of the Latino community in the U.S., dispelling myths and stereotypes, and demonstrating how the success of the nation depends on that of the Latino community. We have begun developing Latino leadership and networks through our programs and by integrating Latino perspectives into Aspen Institute programs, in large part thanks to the Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Fund which has awarded 63 Scholarships to Latinos to participate in 12 different Institute programs.


We invite you to learn more about our program and explore our work here.

America’s Future Summit: Conversations on innovation, entrepreneurship, and inclusion

The inaugural America’s Future Summit held in May 2015 was organized around the themes of innovation and inclusion, and brought together nearly 200 thought leaders representing a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Participants engaged in a high quality, intellectually stimulating, and energizing program through a series of expertly moderated discussions featuring such notable though leaders as the Institute’s President and CEO, Walter Isaacson; White House Director of Domestic Policy, Cecilia Muñoz; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro; Former Publisher of the Washington Post and co-founder of the, Donald Graham. Please find photos and video highlights here. The summit was made possible thanks to our Title Sponsor Target and support from Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, and Toyota.


The second annual, America’s Future Summit: Reimagining Opportunity, will take place in Los Angeles, CA August 16, 2016. Defining opportunity broadly, the program will focus on access, inclusion and leadership in the economic, political and cultural spheres. Stay tuned for more details in the New Year!

Raising Awareness

In an effort to improve the understanding of Latinos in the United States, particularly among those that have a platform for telling our stories to broader audiences, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program with the support of local partners, has organized intensive learning tours for national and regional journalists to explore first-hand how the growing Latino community is affecting and being affected by changing political, economic, and social realities.


During a three-day learning immersion to Charlotte, North Carolina, the Latinos and Society Program brought nine journalists to explore the changing socioeconomic and political dynamics of the South resulting from a large influx of Latinos in recent years. In partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South’s NUEVOlution exhibit participants engaged with nearly 50 experts and community members exploring race, identity, immigrant integration, education, advocacy organizations, voting and civil rights, and economic opportunity. You can find stories from the experience here.


In El Paso, Texas 12 journalists engaged with various aspects of life on the border in the bi-lingual and bi-national region known as the Borderplex. The journalists walked away with a new understanding of The Paso del Norte region as a safe and secure hub of innovation; the centuries-old connection between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez; the resiliency of the people in the community; and the area’s regional approach to economic development. You can find stories from the experience here.

Unlocking Latino Civic Potential

In August 2015 we took an in-depth look at barriers and opportunities for maximizing Latino civic potential. Over the 2.5 day meeting, Latinos and non-Latinos, conservatives, liberals, members of the military and religious communities as well as academia and advocacy organizations discussed immigrant integration and naturalization, voter engagement, civic education, and a Latino leadership pipeline. The findings from this meeting have culminated into a report that will launch in January 2016. Look out for news on the report!

Reimagining Opportunity

In November in Charlotte, NC we convened a dialogue at the Levine Museum of the New South for attendees from the Latino, business, and advocacy communities to highlight bright spots and fresh thinking, from within Charlotte and beyond, that support advancing economic mobility and prosperity for all of Charlotte’s citizens. Charlotte was ranked the fiftieth city in upward mobility for its citizens according to a recent Harvard University and University of California Berkeley study. Speakers discussed the role of Charlotte as a business driven city and the importance of the rapid growth of the Latino community and the need to provide quality affordable education, mixed income development, and access to savings and credit in order to make economic mobility a reality for more Charlotteans. With over 100 attendees, the policy dialogue was a great success, see photos here.

Increasing Latinos Presence at the Aspen Institute

With the generous support of the Ricardo Salinas Foundation, we are able to offer scholarship funds to increase the voices and perspectives of Latinos and Latin Americans at the Aspen Institute. The Fund aims to increase the participation of Latinos and Latin Americans in the Aspen Institute’s public events, policy roundtables, leadership seminars and other convenings. To date, we have awarded scholarships to 63 individuals to participate in 12 different public and policy programs and Seminars. You can find more information about our scholarship including eligibility and application process here.


These scholarships are expanding the leadership capacity, networks and impact of the recipients, while also enriching the experience for all participants and programs at the Aspen Institute, who have benefitted from the ideas and perspectives Salinas Scholars bring.


The Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program aims to create a non-partisan platform for public programming, policy convenings and leadership development with a distinct focus on bridging the emerging Hispanic growth and influence in the U.S. with the broader American society.


The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program is made possible thanks to important year-round support from The Ricardo Salinas Foundation, The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, Blum Family Foundation, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. We also wish to acknowledge the invaluable support and counsel of our Advisory Board.