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RCI Celebrates 5th Anniversary

August 23, 2011

Now in its fifth year of existence, the Raul H. Castro Institute continues to honor its commitment to foster strong community partnerships that lead to direct programming to the Latino community and stakeholders.

The RCI took time out to recognize its accomplishments June 12 in Nogales, Ariz., and coupled it with a celebration marking the 95th birthday of its namesake, Raul H. Castro, the state’s only governor of Mexican-American descent (See following story).

During the past five years, the RCI has partnered with valley school districts to sponsor youth leadership workshops and health festivals, as well as hosting signature events in partnership with Latino Perspectives Magazine to honor those who served admirably in the military and to recognize trailblazing Latinas in Arizona history and present-day.

“We have been able to motivate youth to pursue education and community service, provide training and awareness on health concerns to Latino community members and brought to the forefront Gov. Castro’s legacy as the only Mexican-American to serve as the state’s governor,” says Phoenix College President Dr. Anna Solley.

The institute also has published research reports, developed a documentary and education kits on the life of Gov. Castro, awarded scholarships in his name, and provided breast cancer awareness training to Latina Promatoras through a grant received from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The community-level programming coupled with research has provided policymakers, the community and other stakeholders with qualitative information about educational and health-related needs among Arizona’s growing Latino community and taken steps to address those needs.

Created in 2006, the RCI began as a collaborative effort of the Office of the Governor, Arizona State University’s Center for Community Development & Civil Rights, Maricopa County Community College District, and Phoenix College. The goal was to provide research on the state’s two million Latino residents to enable policymakers and others to make informed policy decisions.

Under Dr. Trino Sandoval, who served as the founding director of the RCI from 2006 to 2009, the institute developed and shared curriculum materials on Gov. Castro’s remarkable life and career and held health-related symposiums. During Maria Enciso’s tenure as director from 2009 to 2011, the institute strengthened relationships with partners such as the Cartwright School District and secured grants from the Susan G.Komen Foundation to provide breast cancer awareness training to Latinas.

View photos of the celebration on the Raul H. Castro Institute Flickr account.