OGDEN, Utah – One of the startling figures from the 2000 Census showed that
Ogden’s Latino population grew by 138 percent during the 1990s.
The influence of northern Utah’s Latino population can be seen everywhere from public schools to local markets and restaurants.
The challenges and opportunities for this rapidly expanding community will be explored at a public issues forum February 13, at 1 p.m., at Weber State University’s Stewart Library Special Collections. Speakers will include Jesse Garcia, a member of the Ogden City Council and a mayoral candidate; Maria Parrilla de Kokal, an educator and community worker; and Josh Pulido, a pre-medical student and student body senator at WSU.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Stewart Library, the forum is free to the public. Parking lot W-7, located southeast of the Val A. Browning Center, will open at 12:30 p.m. for the convenience of forum attendees and participants.
Although rapid growth in the Latino community is new, the Latino presence in Utah is not. A photographic exhibit created by University of Utah Professor Armando Solorzano, as part of an oral history project, depicts Latinos’ involvements in the state. “Latinos in Utah” opened in the Capitol Rotunda last fall and is currently touring the West and Mexico before heading to the Smithsonian Institution. The “Latinos in Utah” exhibit will open in the Stewart Library Special Collections at a public reception on February 8 at 2 p.m. and will remain on display until February 27.
This year’s forum will also mark the conclusion of the Books From Friends charitable drive, held in response to last year’s forum on the impact of immigration on schoolchildren. Books and gifts collected during the drive will be presented to the schools most directly engaged in combating the effects of dislocation and poverty.
For information, please call Linda Sillitoe, public outreach coordinator for the Stewart Library, at (801) 626-7351. For information in Spanish, please call Maria Parrilla de Kokal, visiting lecturer in the Department of Psychology, at (801) 626-7622.
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