Less Talk, More Action

Now those are great words, but “del dicho al hecho hay much estrecho.” Loosely translated it means, “between words and actions lies but a long road.” Surely it involves resisting public policy debates with false choices that pit the educational goals of one group against another, especially along gender. No matter how we deal with the gender achievement gap, we must remember that across the board, Latino students lag behind in a number of key higher education measures. According to Pew Hispanic Center, Latino college students are still 26% less likely (52% to 72%) than their white counterparts to enroll in a four-year college. They are also less likely to attend a selective college or to be enrolled in college full time, and less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree. In fact in 2012, 14.5% of Latinos 25 and older had earned one. By contrast, 51% of Asians, 34.5% of Whites and 21.2% of Blacks had BA’s. The success of our comunidad is dependent on adults ensuring that both little boys and girls reach their full potential. Strategies might be different for each group, but their fates are intertwined.

So as I watch my little girl flip through the pages of Clifford, I also have to be willing to keep an eye on the little boy who is staring at her from across the library. It’s not just because he might be taking her out to the prom. It’s because her journey and experience in the boardroom might just depend on whether he gets there with her.

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About The Author

Elbert Garcia is a Dominican-American writer and communications strategist based in Miami. He is dedicated to organizing stories for change. Born and raised in Washington Heights, Garcia has spent the the last two decades in education, government and the media helping to shape messages and voices for public impact.

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