Salgado '91 to Speak at Commencement 2013

Juan Salgado
Juan Salgado

April 15, 2013                   

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— President and CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino and Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus Juan Salgado will deliver the address “You Who” for the University's Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. Salgado will be one of two recipients of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the Commencement ceremony, along with Robert Parris Moses, founder and president of the Algebra Project.

The approximately 485 members of the Class of 2013 will be the first Illinois Wesleyan graduates to receive their diploma on the Glenn and Rozanne P. Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall.

In the event of heavy rains or weather alerts, the ceremony and reception will be held in the Shirk Center (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington). The entire ceremony will be streamed online and viewable afterward on demand.   

A 1991 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Salgado is an influential civic leader and social innovator.  For the past 12 years, Salgado has led the Instituto, a not-for-profit organization which creates educational, training, and community engagement initiatives and workforce opportunities for Latino communities in Chicago, through a period of national award-winning recognition and historic organizational growth.

Most recently, Instituto has founded the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, a new charter high school aimed at inspiring and preparing Chicago’s youth for success in the growing healthcare fields. In 2009, the Instituto was selected as the National Council of La Raza’s Affiliate of the Year and was also given an Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Labor in 2008.

A significant voice in local and national settings for his work on the educational, political and economic advancement of the Latino community, Salgado was recognized as a 2011 White House Champion of Change for Social Innovation. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Excellence in Community Service Award. From 2006 to 2009, he served as an advisor to President of Mexico Felipe Calderon on the state of Mexican immigrants in the United States. Salgado was also the recipient of the 2007 and 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival Fellowship, joining top decision-makers, journalists, artists, policy experts and government officials from across the globe.  In 2005, he earned a fellowship in the distinguished Leadership Greater Chicago program.

An economics major at Illinois Wesleyan, Salgado grew up in Calumet Park, Ill. After winning a graduate fellowship to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he earned a master’s degree in urban planning in 1993.  He currently serves on numerous boards in the Chicago-land area.

A lifelong social activist, civil rights pioneer and a visionary educator, Moses is the founder and president of the Algebra Project (AP), a not-for-profit organization that uses mathematics as an organizing tool to ensure quality public school education for every child in America.

Robert Parris Moses
Photo courtesy of Michael Lisnet, Math for America
Robert Parris Moses

In 1982, Moses received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and subsequently started the Algebra Project, a United States mathematics literacy effort aimed at helping students successfully achieve the mathematical skills that are essential in our technology-based society. The AP focuses on math education and training to prepare disadvantaged students for an increasingly competitive job marketplace, in an effort to remove barriers to economic opportunity and workforce equality.   

Moses’ focus on education is part of a lifetime commitment he has made to civil rights. A prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement as a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Moses initiated SNCC’s Mississippi Voter Registration Project in 1961, and was appointed its director in 1962. 

Born and raised in Harlem, Moses received a bachelor’s degree in 1956 from Hamilton College in New York, and a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard University in 1957.   

Moses is co-author of Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project and co-editor of Quality Education as a Constitutional Right: Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public Schools. He is the recipient of many awards including: the McGraw Hill Award in Education (2004), the Mary Chase Smith Award (2002), the Nation/Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship (2001) and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition (2000).

For additional information, contact Office of Communications, Sherry Wallace, director for news and media relations at (309) 556-3181.

Contact: Katherine Filippo, ’12, (309) 556-3181