Latino students from 35 Southland colleges and universities will converge in Glendale beginning today for a four-day retreat that focuses on improving leadership and human-relations skills.
About 130 students will take part in the eighth annual Latino College Leadership Institute, which continues through Sunday at Camp Max Strauss in the Verdugo Hills. The program, sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Assn. of Mexican American Educators, prepares students to combat racism and intercultural hostilities, organizers said.
"Although (the program) is for one ethnic group only, the skills being imparted to these young people will benefit our multicultural Southern California by developing future leaders who are sensitive to intercultural understanding and who know how to lead," said Jim Hilvert, National Conference executive director.
Daniel Loera, conference coordinator, said the students will spend the first two days in discussion groups, working on ways to deal with discrimination based on race, gender, age and sexual orientation. In the second half, the students will identify discrimination issues on their respective campuses and put together action plans to deal with such problems.
On Sunday morning, the students will present their plans to a panel of professionals and educators for critiquing.
During the weekend, Loera said the group also will undoubtedly debate Proposition 187, the measure on Tuesday's ballot that would deny public benefits to illegal immigrants.