UNLV’s Diversity Leadership Forum April 12, 2012

Grace Lin, Xianya Yang, Caleb Picker, Kathleen Blakely, Swadeep Nigam, Sue Fawn Chung, Marie Mortera, Jose Melendrez, Rozita Lee, Derek Furukawa, Gerri Schroder, Maria Henry, Gorge Henriquez, Christie Garcia (Photo: Robert Henry)

April 12, 2012, Las Vegas NV

Presented at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, the UNLV Office of Diversity Initiatives held a reception and panel discussion this evening on the topic:  The Impact of the Recession on Asian American & Pacific Islanders In Southern Nevada.  The economy and its pervasive impact on our entire nation continues to be an important topic of discussion, particularly for a region such as Southern Nevada, arguably one of the “hardest hit” areas of our country.  The panel’s discussion touched on several key issues including:  housing, jobs, education, and health care.  The panel consisted of a range of Asian ethnicities, and a range of points of view.  From an elected official (Henderson Councilwoman Gerri Schroder), to an honorary Consul General (Kathleen Blakely), to a presidential appointee (Commissioner Rozita Lee), to a historian (Sue Fawn Chung), to a conservative businessman (Swadeep Nigam), the panel discussion was ably led by local media personality, Marie Mortera, KSNV News 3 anchor.

Held at a University venue, students were prevalent in the audience.  One student, concerned about the economic pressures, the high cost of finishing his degree, and a yearning to find gainful employment, suggested that he might opt not to finish his degree and begin working instead.  The panel’s reaction was overwhelmingly in favor of the student finishing his degree for many good reasons.  An example of how this economy presents difficult decisions for all of us at every stage of life.

Feedback from the audience was quite positive, both for the quality of the discussion and the range of relevant topics.  It was generally felt that these sorts of discussions play an important role in allowing us all to sort out these challenging issues and to continue to seek positive solutions.

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