Hispanic author to visit UTD

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Rosie Peterson’s title. She is the director of the Department of Institutional Diversity. Also, the title of the book that Juana Bordas wrote was incorrect. The Mercury regrets these errors.

A Hispanic writer, speaker and leader will discuss Latino values and how they can be applied to leadership roles on Sept. 25 at the Alexander Clark Center in room 1.112 at 11:30 a.m.

Juana Bordas is traveling to UTD from Denver to speak about her book “Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age.”Bordas will speak about how diversity is necessary for effective and efficient leadership in an ever-changing, global world.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. Rosie Peterson, the director of the Department of Institutional Diversity, said she believes that Bordas was a good choice for a speaker during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

“We try to be really comprehensive and we look at the different dimensions of diversity, and with her we could not only bring in someone for Hispanic Heritage Month but she will do some leadership training,” Peterson said.

Juana has done several leadership trainings and spoken in several Texas cities, including Dallas, Houston, Brownsville, San Antonio and El Paso. She said she believes that Texas is a great place for Latino leadership.

“Historically, Texas has been a place for Latinos to organize, to recognize their people,” Bordas said. “Texas has had a history of activism for the Hispanic and Latino community.”

Bordas discusses traditional practices in Latino, African American and Native American cultures in her book. According to Bordas, one can implement these multicultural practices to leadership on campus and in student organizations.

For example, knowing others’ cultural history and promoting leadership across the board are two practices that can be applied to leadership.

1.) Know others’ cultural history – learning others’ customs can help develop respect for each other in a group. According to Bordas, this is important because, though the United States is and has been a multicultural country, there are certain groups such as Latinos, African Americans and Native Americans that tend to not get recognition for their leadership and work. History can be changed by giving recognition to these groups.

2.) Leadership among equals — this concept is about trying to make sure that everyone in a group is involved. Everyone has a chance to make decisions and use their own knowledge and skills. Bordas said it’s important to respect everyone in an entity, from the president of the university to the janitors who keep our campus clean.
Bordas will meet with certain students after the lecture.

“After the lecture we will have her meet with our Diversity Scholars and Academic Bridge Scholars to kind of do some one on one networking and feedback and answering whatever questions they may have,” Peterson said.

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