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February 16, 1998

Manuel Pastor moderates panel discussion with U.S. president's advisers on race

Manuel Pastor

By Jennifer McNulty

Manuel Pastor, director of the Latin American and Latino studies program at UCSC, moderated a high-level panel discussion on race and poverty last week with members of the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race.

Advisory Board members were in San Jose to conduct an evening community forum and a daylong meeting. Pastor moderated part of the meeting, which focused on the impacts of race and poverty in a multicultural community.

The morning panel moderated by Pastor was a wide-ranging and fast-moving discussion that was lauded by one Advisory Board member as "the best session" they have had so far. Pastor described it as "one of the more intelligent, respectful, and policy-focused conversations on the difficult challenges of race and poverty" in which he had participated.

Panelists in Pastor's session included William Julius Wilson of Harvard University; Douglas Massey of the University of Pennsylvania; Robert Woodson of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise; Matthew Snipp of Stanford University; Tarry Humm of New York University; and Raquel Rivera Pinderhughes of San Francisco State University.

An afternoon session, which featured regional and local experts, focused on state and local programs, policies, and services, such as welfare-to-work programs, housing integration efforts, enterprise zones, community development programs, and various other strategies being used to reduce poverty and racial discrimination.

In addition, there was a keynote address by U.S. Small Business Administrator Aida Alvarez, who recently announced SBA's aggressive new goals for lending and assistance to historically underserved segments of the small business community.

The visit to San Jose was part of One America in the 21st Century: The President's Initiative on Race, an effort launched by President Clinton last June to help Americans prepare for an increasingly multicultural future. The seven-member Race Initiative Advisory Board was formed to counsel Clinton on ways to improve race relations in the United States.

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