Closing the Achievement Gap
Univision Launches Campaign To Promote Academic Achievement
Univision Communications has launched a national campaign to promote academic achievement and college readiness among Hispanic K-12 students in the United States. "Es El Momento" ("The Moment Is Now") is a Spanish-language initiative that will focus on high school graduation, college readiness and completion, and parental and community involvement in reaching these goals.
With Univision network news anchor Jorge Ramos serving as campaign spokesperson, the company will enlist all of its media platforms, including radio and Internet, to raise nationwide awareness and involvement in the campaign. The company cited as the primary aims of the initiative: increasing high school graduation rates among Hispanics, currently at approximately 55 percent; improving related metrics such as standardized test scores and college matriculation and graduation rates; and, by providing a central resource for clear information and extensive tools, driving parents in the Hispanic community to take an active role in their children's education and achievement goals.
Among the many components of the initiative are:
- A comprehensive Web site featuring localized feeds to help users find educational tools and resources, as well as a weekly live Q&A session with motivational speaker and radio personality Dra. Isabel;
- Special programming on television and radio;
- National and local news coverage; and
- Local partnerships with grassroots and community-based organizations and initiatives.
To maximize the reach of, and corresponding interest in, Es El Momento, Univision is working in cooperation with the Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and community, education, and civil rights groups throughout the country, to make academic achievement a priority in the Hispanic community. Said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, "A great education is not an honor or privilege--it's a fundamental civil right. This partnership with Univision will not only inspire Hispanic students and their parents and community to aspire to a college education, it will give them access to the information and tools they need to make their dream a reality. Education is the best way to expand opportunity for all. We can't think of a better partner to work with on Es El Momento than Univision, which shares this belief in the power of education."
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis noted the long-term value of such an initiative in improving occupational and economic opportunities for Hispanics. "In short, education, especially higher education, is key to making good jobs for everyone a reality," said Solis. "For the nation's Latinos, who have an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent, 'The Moment is Now' -¡Es El Momento! We must encourage our young people to pursue higher education, which will make them more competitive for the good jobs we are working to make a standard of our 21st century economy."
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.