Joe Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System, joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and other dignitaries at the second White House Initiative Latino Summit, hosted at the Community College of Denver on March 26. The event brought together national and state leaders to discuss federal efforts to empower Latino communities.
In his remarks, Chancellor Garcia said community colleges are key to helping Latino families move up the economic ladder and securing high-paying, high growth jobs. He applauded the White House for investing in internet access and additional infrastructure that puts higher education in reach.
“Closing the digital divide is critical to ensuring communities, particularly the Latino community, is set on path toward job and wealth creation, as well as improving health outcomes,” Chancellor Garcia said. “At this unique moment in time, there is an opportunity to address these inequities and help ensure that all Americans have access to affordable broadband.”
Dr. Marielena DeSanctis, president of the Community College of Denver, introduced Dr. Jill Biden and noted her many accomplishments in the education field, including championing universal pre-school, free community college, and more affordable options for higher education. Dr. DeSanctis said the White House’s push for digital equity will support students on both urban and rural campuses, where quality broadband is often spotty.
We’re committed to closing equity gaps in all forms and ensuring Latino and Hispanic families have the resources to truly thrive.
Following Dr. Biden’s remarks, attendees broke out into several sessions on advancing digital equity among Latino communities, discussing telehealth, cybersecurity, and workforce development, among other topics. Several Community College of Denver students also shared their experiences during a panel discussion.
In their closing remarks, Chancellor Garcia and Dr. DeSanctis thanked Dr. Biden for visiting Colorado and keeping equity at the forefront of the administration’s initiatives.
“We’re committed to closing equity gaps in all forms and ensuring Latino and Hispanic families go beyond making a living in Colorado and have the resources to truly thrive,” said Chancellor Garcia.