Lifeways presents Ben Waddell

Article by Andrea Benton-Maestas

Adams State University and Lifeways of the San Luis Valley is proud to announce the very final presentation in the Spring 2016 Lifeways of the San Luis Valley Lecture Series, "Garcia v. Vilsack: A Story of Discriminatory Lending in the San Luis Valley," by Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Benjamin Waddell at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in McDaniel Hall, room 101.

Waddell received his B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado-Boulder and went on to receive his M.A. in Latin American Studies and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Mexico. He currently teaches courses that focus on racial and ethnic relations, education, social psychology, and social inequality. The goal in Dr. Waddell’s teaching is to awaken in his students the knowledge that they have the power to effect change in the world in a positive manner. In using education as the catalyst and platform for encouraging critical analysis of those issues that face us, he is helping in the formation of a generation of world citizens who can contribute to leaving our world better than they found it.

Waddell described the emphasis of his lecture in the following statement:
"Southern Colorado, which is predominately inhabited by Hispanic families, is one of the poorest regions in the state. In addition to unemployment rates ranging between 15-20% in some localities, region reports comparatively high rates of drug abuse and crime. Frequently, outside observers associate high poverty rates, unemployment, and crime with complacent residents. However, a closer look at southern Colorado reveals that deep seeded discrimination has played a particularly pernicious role in the undoing of what were once thriving communities. In particular, over the course of the 20th century discriminatory lending contributed to unequal opportunities for Hispanic farmers and ranchers. As a result, many local residents lost their land, and with it, a way of life. This presentation focuses on the recent settlement between the USDA and Hispanic farmers, Garcia v. Vilsack, as a means of shedding light on the role of discrimination in driving unequal opportunities in southern Colorado."

An audience question and answer session will take place in the last fifteen minutes of the presentation. This lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is located east of McDaniel Hall, Adams State parking lots do not require permits after 5 p.m. The Spring 2016 Lifeways of the San Luis Valley lecture series is sponsored by the Community for Inclusive Excellence, Leadership & Opportunity (CIELO) at ASU.