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Actor and community activist Edward James Olmos to speak in final installment of the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forum series
Actor and community activist Edward James Olmos to speak in final installment of the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forum seriesJune 07, 2001Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
Actor and community activist Edward James Olmos will speak in Syracuse on June 15 for the culmination program of the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forum series.
“Building a Unified Community” will be the theme of Olmos’ address. Denys Candy, a collaboration expert and facilitator from Pittsburgh, will be the event’s moderator. Candy will also give a presentation about the history of the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forums and how collaboration can make a difference. The forums are designed and sponsored by Syracuse University’s School of Social Work and the Rosamond Gifford Charitable Corp. in partnership with the Greater Syracuse community. Olmos’ accomplished career has included starring roles in films such as “Stand and Deliver” and the “Miami Vice” television series, and has brought him an Emmy, two Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination. But he is known and respected for more than just his acting, producing and directing ability. Olmos is recognized widely as a tireless community activist. He is the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and the national spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He is also the director of the Lives in Hazard Educational Project, a national gang prevention program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a recipient of the Pass Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Last year, a poll conducted by Hispanic Trends listed Olmos as the most influential Hispanic American in the nation. He speaks at an average of 150 institutions a year and serves on the boards of many groups and organizations. He played an instrumental role in the cleanup efforts after the Los Angeles riots. In the September 2000 issue of Hispanic magazine, Olmos gave his take on how such situations should be handled: “You attack a problem before the problem exists. You do preventive medicine: you don’t wait until the disease begins. It’s too late then.” Olmos also supports an agenda of inclusion and believes all children should learn about the cultural mosaic that comprises the United States today. That sentiment has motivated him to launch a nationwide multimedia project called “Americanos: Latino Life in the U.S.,” a celebration of Latino culture through photography, film, music and the printed word.
A goal of the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forums is to bring together both local and national expertise to explore models of collaboration that aid in community building. The forum’s aim is to increase awareness of issues that affect Syracuse communities. The three previous forums sponsored by the Rosamond Gifford Community Exchange Forum Project have also focused on collaboration in the context of youth violence, welfare and work, and education. The registration fee for “An Evening With Edward James Olmos” is $10 and includes a reception, dinner and free parking at the OnCenter garage. Preregistration is required. For more information, contact Paula O’Donnell at 443-5917.