Secretary Salazar Addresses Hispanic Education Forum
April 19, 2010
It’s part of telling that great story and the fight for freedom and the sense that no matter where who you are from, no matter what the color of your skin is that there is opportunity for you here in these United States.
We will do/complete what will be a study and a proposal, which Ray is heading up with some other people on my staff, on the creation of a national museum here in Washington D.C. celebrating the history and the contributions of the Latino community to our nation.
You will see a lot of that as we move forward.
Those are important efforts for this president, for President Obama because he does understand the fact that we are truly one America. And to be truly one America it means that everybody’s history has got to be celebrated and everybody has to understand that it is not one culture or one history that is superior to another, but there is an equality and a need to have respect and dignity for everybody no matter where you are from. So that’s part of my job as the Secretary of the Interior
The very strength of this country depends on all of us doing a much better job on this agenda. And if we fail to do so, what’s going to happen is that this country as a strong American nation is going to diminish and debilitate itself in stature if we’re not able to capture the young minds of everybody and that includes the young minds of Latinos who now getting lost in this educational process.
By the time that this summer is over, we will have increased the number of employees who are working in the Department of the Interior, young people from the ages of 16 and 25, by over 50 percent, by over 50 percent. That means we will have 16,000 young people who are working with us in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges or administrative offices throughout the entire United States of America.
And in so many ways that story encapsulizes the mission of HACU, it encapsulizes our mission at the Department of the Interior, it encapsulizes the dreams and hopes of President Barack Obama that yes we have tough challenges ahead of us, yes we have a tough unemployment rate, yes we have couple of wars that we’re having to deal with which are difficult, yes we have these educational challenges that we don’t seem to be able to find the answers to; but we also have a great hope and great faith that the best days for us are still ahead. But so much of it is tied into this keystone that you work on today, that’s the keystone of education. So don’t give up, keep going and we will work with you in partnership to make it all happen.
Thank you very, very much.