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Issue #28
July 2012

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L.A. County Sheriff Convenes Colloquium of Law Enforcement and Local Muslim Leaders

Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca convened law enforcement and Muslim leaders to discuss best practices for community relations and outreach with the Muslim community. More than 200 law enforcement officials from throughout Southern California and leaders of state and local government agencies gathered for the event on June 14 at the Iranian American Muslim Association of North America (IMAN) center in West Los Angeles.

A common theme of the day's discussions was the community's dissatisfaction with law enforcement's profiling of Muslim people because of religious practices and their perception and treatment of Muslims as suspects, rather than partners in the investigations of terrorist threats.  

Such attitudes have created hostility and mistrust toward police and sheriff's deputies, said Adel Syed, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"The gathering was an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and provide education on community-based relationships for law enforcement leaders," said CSU Police Chief Nathan Johnson. "It definitely helped to widen our knowledge about the Muslim culture and communities that live in the United States."

Key facts about the Muslim community:

  • Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States and the world
  • Muslims represent 25 percent of the world's population and 2 percent of the U.S. population
  • Nearly 70 percent of Muslims worldwide are Asian and only 20 percent are Arab.
  • Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims of any country.

L.A. Sheriff Leroy Baca and CSU Chief of Police Nate Johnson
Sheriff Leroy Baca (left) and CSU Police Chief Nathan Johnson share a moment during the colloquium to strengthen relations between law enforcement and the Muslim community.





Punya Droz Talks of Her Journey From Cambodian Genocide to Sonoma State’s Graduation Day

Punya Droz, Alumna of Sonoma State - Cambodian Heritage

It was the darkest chapter of Cambodia’s history.  The country of my birth was tearing itself apart and my family was caught in the middle.  I lost both parents to the Khmer Rouge genocide of professionals with education and government connections – my mother, who served with the American Red Cross, and father, a member of the military.

As I came to live with my grandmother and aunt, my family continued to be ravaged by war, famine and separation.

Dark times test character and values.  It is difficult to describe a world in which a person is targeted and killed because they hold a degree.  Yet my family stayed true to its commitment to education – a value I inherited and passed on to my daughter.

My husband, a U.S. Vietnam veteran, and daughter attended my Sonoma State graduation this May.  My daughter and I have spent many evenings sitting together doing homework.  She is my inspiration, just as I hope to inspire her.

As many students do, I brought all my life experiences – both good and bad – into the classroom.  I have seen many areas of the world, yet deeply value the context that a college education brought to that experience.  As a Liberal Studies student, my colleagues and I were presented with the challenges that inhibit a child’s education.  Hearing some of the heartbreaking stories of others who have suffered tragedy, I realized that I was not the only one carrying the memories from a dark past.

Sonoma State equipped me with knowledge and skills to help return good to the world to balance evils both present and past.

To be deaf or blind during the Khmer Rouge years was to be condemned to beg or perish.  I came to Sonoma State having spent years advocating for the disabled, especially in Cambodia.  The university encouraged my efforts and allowed me to earn course credit through a Hesperian Foundation project to prepare, translate and publish educational materials for blind and deaf children.

Education provides the hope of independence for disabled students in Cambodia as well as the hope for a better world for my daughter’s generation.  I was filled with that hope as I crossed the stage as a new Sonoma State graduate.

I am deeply thankful to the faculty for their educational inspiration, effort, and commitment to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

This story first appeared in the CSU Voices and Views Blog. Click here to see the comments thread.


Upcoming College Events and Fairs

August 25
CSU Super Saturday College Fair
CSU Dominguez Hills

September 28
Native American Day, CSU San Bernardino

October 5-6
27th Annual California Indian Conference, CSU San Marcos

October 13
Es El Momento
CSU Dominguez Hills

October 20
A Taste of Soul, Los Angeles

November 3
CSU AAPI Journey to Success
San Jose State University


CSU Stakeholders Offer Ideas for Selection of a Chancellor

CSU faculty, students, alumni and labor representatives, as well as higher education advocates presented their perspectives on the qualities they would like to see in the new chancellor of the California State University system, during a special hearing of the Trustees' Committee for the Selection of the Chancellor, which took place June 28 in Long Beach.

Speakers called for transparency, willingness to listen, academic and higher education administration credentials, commitment to shared governance and ability to deal with the budget challenges faced by the system.

The search for a successor to Chancellor Charles B. Reed was initiated in June, once he announced his plan to retire later this year, after 14 years at the helm.

Members of the Trustees' Special Committee for the Selection of the Chancellor include the following CSU Trustees: William Hauck, who chairs the committee; Roberta Achtenberg; Bernadette Cheyne; Debra S. Farar; Kenneth Fong; Steven M. Glazer; Board Chairman A. Robert  Linscheid, and CSU student Jillian L. Ruddell.

CSU stakeholders and other members of the public can send suggestions or questions to the search committee by email at chancellorsearch@calstate.edu.

Young Latinas Graduate from HOPE's College Preparation Program

Hope Youth Program Class of 2012

Students in the 11th grade from communities across the state have completed the Youth Leadership through Literacy Program of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE).

The students recently received certificates of completion from the six-month program, which included a personal session with academic counselors from CSU San Bernardino. The students also received advice on what they need to do to strengthen their academic credentials and qualify for college.

The Youth Leadership through Literacy Program is a statewide development  effort supported by the Chancellor's office and designed to prepare low-income, high school Latinas for a self-sufficient future.

See HOPE's website


Super Saturday College Fair to Take Place on Aug. 25

Super Saturday College Fair

Thousands of middle-school students and their families are expected to attend the Super Saturday College Fair at CSU Dominguez Hills on Aug. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The  fair will feature workshops for students and parents designed to make them aware of college opportunities and information about early preparation for college.

Download the Printable flier


Questions, ideas or comments about editorial content, e-mail Clara Potes-Fellow Clara Potes-Fellow
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