Senior Department of Education Official to Visit Des Moines

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Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (Initiative), will speak with Drake University's La Fuerza Latina organization in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, March 11, meet with local community stakeholders during the Des Moines Education Association (DMEA) "Latino Leader Meeting" and visit the Science Center of Iowa as part of the Museum Day Live! on Saturday, March 12.

On Friday, March 11, at 2 p.m. CT, Ceja will meet with student members of Drake University's La Fuerza Latina and staff to speak about the importance of a postsecondary education completion for all students, in particular for Hispanic students, including undocumented and Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals students. La Fuerza Latina is a student organization that provides a space for solidarity with the Latino community in Des Moines and Drake University and to foster dialogue around issues impacting Latinos, as well as to explore opportunities to promote a more inclusive atmosphere on campus.

On Saturday, March 12 at 9 a.m. CT, Ceja will speak with local community stakeholders during the DMEA's "Latino Leader Meeting." She will discuss the importance of cross-sector collaboration in support of the educational attainment and importance of equity in education as it relates to the Latino community, and highlight promising practices on family engagement. She will also hear from the community leaders and stakeholders about their goals, challenges, and concerns in education. The DMEA is both a union and a professional association, united by a goal to promote quality teaching and learning environments in the Des Moines Public Schools.

At 12:30 p.m. CT, Ceja will travel to the Science Center of Iowa to participate in the special edition of the Smithsonian Institute's annual Museum Day Live! The Smithsonian Institution in consultation with the White House Council on Women and Girls are encouraging all people, and particularly women and girls of color to explore their nation's museums, cultural institutions, zoos, aquariums and parks. Ceja will amplify this year's theme: "Inspiring our Nation's Women and Girls of Color and Their Peers" through social media using @HispancicED and #ImagineHer and #MuseumDay and tour the Center's race relations exhibit.