Keynote Speakers

2022 Cambio de Colores Keynote Presentations:

J.S. Onésimo Sándoval, Saint Louis University

Keynote: Ness Sándoval
Title of Presentation: “¿Cuántos Somos? A Story of Shifting Demographics in the U.S.”
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

J.S. Onésimo Sándoval is a professor of sociology and demography at Saint Louis University. He has been conducting research at the intersection of Demography and Computational Spatial Science to study the spatial hierarchy of inequality in American cities. He also has been working in the emerging fields of Forensic GISc, social-environmental synthesis, and the applications of spatial-temporal multi-scaled models to study social, economic, and environmental patterns of inequality. His research currently focuses on spatial inequality, Latino and immigration demographic patterns, and crime patterns in American cities. He recently founded two geospatial applied community projects: Demography 4 Democracy and Coding for Spatial Justice. Both projects are designed to empower community members to envision the future they want for their neighborhoods and acquire the resources to make their visions happen. Professor Sandoval is the Associate Director of the Taylor Geospatial Institute, Co-Director of the Ph.D. Public and Social Policy Program and the Director of the MS Sociology Program.

Idalia Nuñez Cortez, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Keynote: Idalia Nuñez
Title of Presentation: “Undoing the School-Home Border: Critical Lessons from Transnational Latinx Families’ Pedagogies”
Date: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Dr. Idalia Nuñez is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are on bilingual education, bilingualism, biliteracy, and the translanguaging practices and transnational knowledge of Chicanx/Latinx students, families, and communities. Dr. Nuñez’s research, teaching, and advocacy efforts are focused on supporting the educational needs of bilingual and multilingual students of Color. Her research has been published in Research in the Teaching of English, Language Arts, Bilingual Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, etc.

Daniel Gonzales earned his M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis in the spring of 2010 as an E. Desmond Lee Fellow. Following graduation, he began work as a researcher at the Missouri History Museum. In 2013, Daniel took on the position of Museum Curator with the St. Louis County Parks system later working as historian for St. Louis County. In 2018, he became Director of Exhibitions Research at the Indiana Historical Society.

Theresa Torres, PhD, is an associate professor of Latinx and Latin American studies and sociology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She specializes in Latinx studies, immigration, race and ethnic studies, and gender studies. Torres has publications on Latinas and Latinos in higher education, Latinx students, and Latina religious practices. In 2013, she published The Paradox of Latina Religious Leadership in the Catholic Church: Las Guadalupanas of Kansas City. She is currently editing a book with Daniel Gonzales on Latinx Communities in Missouri. And is working on a third book social justice leadership, Transformational Resistant Leaders, based on interviews and ethnographic studies of leaders and activists.

Sal Valadez is a Mexican immigrant, a high school drop-out, a U.S. Army Veteran, and a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he was awarded an M.A. in Political Science (Alternative Futures Program) and a B.A. in Political Science.  He is also a 2019 Fellow of the Washington University in St Louis Community Research Fellows Training Program (CRFT). 

He is employed by the LiUNA (Laborers International Union of North America) – Midwest Region (Springfield, IL) and the Missouri & Kansas Laborers District Council (Wentzville, MO).  He serves as the Representative for Diversity, Outreach & Marketing.

Sal’s responsibilities include community engagement and collaboration on issues of mutual concern with workers and their families, immigrant, ethnic, and historically disadvantaged, underserved, and underrepresented communities.  Throughout his career, Sal has been an advocate on issues related to workforce development, worker rights, language access, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

Edgar Palacios, Latinx Education Collaborative

Keynote: Edgar Palacios
Title of Presentation: “The Future is Latino: We Must Invest in the Outcomes of Latino Students Today”
Date: Friday, June 24, 2022, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Edgar J. Palacios is the President & CEO (founder) of the Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC), a nonprofit, start-up organization that works to increase the representation of Latinx education professionals in K-12. Edgar previously owned a nonprofit consultancy (EJPKC, LLC) and has had the privilege of working with organizations such as Community Builders of Kansas City; Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City; El Centro, Inc.; Show Me KC Schools; and the Kauffman Foundation.

A bilingual nonprofit executive, Edgar served as Executive Director of Blue Hills Community Services (BHCS), a community development corporation situated in the heart of Kansas City’s urban core and led BHCS through a merger with Swope Community Builders. Prior to his time at Blue Hills, Edgar also served as Senior Director of Resource Development & Community Engagement at Connections to Success and Chief Engagement Officer at Central Exchange.

Edgar is an MBA graduate of Rockhurst University. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Awards and recognition include: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City 2016 Most Wanted honoree; Kauffman Scholars’ 2015 Volunteer of the Year; In 2014, Guadalupe Centers’ I. Pat Rios Award for ‘outstanding contribution by an individual to the Latino community of Kansas City’; 2014 KC Chamber Ace Award; and 2012 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Candidate.

Edgar is a 2017 graduate of Centurions, the KC Chamber’s premier leadership development program where he earned the 2017 Centurions Mentor of the Year award. Edgar was also a member of the 2017 Class of the United Way Governance Academy.
Edgar’s commitment to improving education led him to co-found School Tours KC in 2016; a program designed to bring business and civic leaders into local public schools.

Additionally, he was a 2020 LeanLab Education Fellow, a 2019 Surge Institute Academy Fellow, and a 2017 Visiting Fellow with Education Pioneers. He is a recent graduate/fellow from Surge Institute’s Kansas City Academy. Passionate about his community, Edgar has served as president of both Young Latino Professionals (YLP) of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. He also dedicates time to serving on nonprofit boards.

We Thank the 2022 Cambio de Colores Sponsors for Their Support:

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