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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Professor discusses women, Hispanics taking leadership roles

By Andrew Brenner/reporter

Women are achieving higher educational goals at a faster rate than men, a speaker told NE students as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations Sept. 28.

In Hispanic Leadership in the 21st Century, University of Texas at Arlington political science professor Jose Angel Gutierrez emphasized stronger Hispanic representation in government, particularly among Hispanic women.

“Women will be our leaders in the future. We need to learn how to follow their leadership,” he said.

In front of a crowd of mostly female students, Gutierrez highlighted stories from his book Chicanos in Charge of “brave political courage” Hispanic women have demonstrated. For example, Dallas County’s Lupe Valdez is the only female sheriff in Texas.

“How did she do it?” he asked. “She bet on herself.”

Many of the pitfalls for women in the past that prevented them from obtaining office and taking roles as political leaders are no longer there, Gutierrez said.

“We no longer think that women can’t do the job,” he said. “The future is women.”

NE student Jessica Crabb agreed.

“Within a couple decades, we’re going to be the leaders. [I] liked the idea of women moving up in society and being leaders in the future,” she said smiling.

The number of women obtaining degrees and diplomas is surpassing that of men, and there’s no reason the trend won’t continue, Gutierrez said. The country will soon be “women-led,” he said.

“Men continue to atrophy and fall out,” he said.

Men need to take “followership classes” rather than leadership classes, Gutierrez joked. He then asked why more women than men were present at the speech and why more men than women are in classrooms. He said this topic should be addressed in schools.

“You have a special responsibility if you’re Hispanic to take responsibility for governing in the future,” he said.

Gutierrez said the word Hispanic is a U.S. invention.

“We are the hosts. This is our homeland,” he said.

It is the political destiny of the Hispanic people to want to govern their homeland, Gutierrez said.

“We [Hispanics] have a rich background and a lot to contribute,” he said.

One out of every five Americans is Hispanic and, by 2050, according to data projections, the number will be one in three, he said.

“We have been governed for decades, even centuries. Now is the time to prepare to govern,” he said.

Gutierrez has been a Hispanic civil rights leader for many years. At UTA, he opened the Center for Mexican-American Studies.

“He has given his heart to the Chicano movement,” said NE student development services vice president Maggie de la Teja.

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