Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity

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2007 Speakers Series

Veronica P. Goei to Address Latino Literacy Issues

Veronica GoeiVeronica P. Goei, the Executive Director of Estrella Family Services in San Jose, California, will be at Western Illinois University Wednesday, April 4, 2007, to talk about the role of parents, particularly Latino parents, in creating a literate community of readers and storytellers. In her previous role as Executive Director of Grail Family Services, also in San Jose, Ms. Goei developed several successful literacy programs that involve Latino parents in their children’s reading development. She will discuss these programs as part of her presentation.

The focus of the After School Literacy Program is reading fluency, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension for first-third graders, while the Leemé (Read to Me) Early Literacy Program emphasizes oral language skills for pre-school children. When evaluated, both programs proved valuable, with 90 percent of first-third grade students in the After School Literacy Program significantly increasing their reading fluency, 60 percent of the children in Leemé strengthening their knowledge of print concepts, and over 80 percent of parents increasing their support of their children’s learning experiences.

In addition to explaining these literacy programs, Ms. Goei will discuss Scholastic’s national Lee y seras (Read and You Will Be) Early Literacy Initiative and will explore how Latino family and community strengths ground the program. She will also talk about storytelling and its power as a tool parents can adopt to further their children’s learning experiences.

Ms. Goei, an experienced leader in community organizations and child care, is a graduate of Harvard University’s Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Chile and has developed curricula in parenting and adult education as well as in early literacy and cultural diversity. In 2006 she was selected to participate in the Hewlett Packard Nonprofit Leadership Initiative.

The Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, the College of Education and Human Services, and the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies are co-sponsoring Ms. Goei’s visit. Besides her Wednesday evening campus presentation, which will take place in Horrabin Hall 44, she will be meeting with the Latino community in Beardstown on Tuesday evening, April 3. For further information about these programs, contact Gloria Delany-Barmann (, Carla Paciotto (, or Janice Welsch (

Counseling Center Director to Discuss Racial Identity Development

Thomas A. ParhamOn Monday, March 5, 2007, Dr. Thomas A. Parham, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Counseling and Health Services and Director of the Counseling Center at the University of California, Irvine, will be at Western Illinois University to discuss racial identity development. Characterized as “a gifted and charismatic speaker in the tradition of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X,” Dr. Parham will combine eloquence with scholarship in his discussions of this subject. He has made racial identity development the primary focus of his research and the subject of many of his publications, including The Psychology of Blacks: An African-Centered Perspective, Psychological Storms: The African American Struggle for Identity, and Counseling Persons of African Descent. His work has been critical in advancing the scholarship on the psychology of African Americans while also addressing pragmatic aspects of counseling.

Dr. Parham will be on campus on March 5, 2007 to make a major public presentation, titled "The Struggle for Identity Congruence in African Americans," at 11:00 a.m. in the Heritage Room of the University Union. The campus and surrounding communities are invited to attend and to participate in the discussion that will follow Dr. Parham's talk. Additional meetings with various administrators and staff are scheduled before and after this presentation.

Though Dr. Parham grew up in southern California and received his bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), he came to the Midwest for his graduate work, earning a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a doctorate in the same field from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Since returning to UCI, he has been extremely active as a professional and as a citizen.

Dr. Parham has been honored with multiple prestigious awards from the American Psychological Association and from the Association of Black Psychologists, has, in addition to the books he authored, written over 35 journal articles and book chapters, and has produced several videotapes on counseling African Americans and on youth and violence. Besides his focus on black psychology and counseling, he has addressed such issues as multicultural counseling, multicultural education, managing a diverse workforce, effective communication, coping with stress, and team building. In 2005 he participated in Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union which was broadcast on CSPAN.

Within his community, Dr. Parham has chaired Irvine’s Human Relations Committee and helped draft the city’s first Human Rights ordinance. He helped charter the Orange County Chapter of 100 Black Men and has worked on numerous programs within the organization. As the organization’s president, he collaborated with Turning Point Communications and the city of Irvine to host the Annual African American Business Summit, planned a Health and Wellness Summit, initiated an “Institutional Report Card” to evaluate the quality of the educational experience for African American youth in Orange County schools, and served on the Orange County sheriff’s Community Coalition.

Irvine Council member Christopher Mears, in describing Dr. Parham, has said that “for many his presence as a public figure is transformative; the power of his innate humanity and manifest love conveying an overwhelming sense of acceptance and understanding. You feel many things in the presence of Dr. Parham; mostly you just feel better.”

Dr. Parham's visit is sponsored by WIU's Expanding Cultural Diversity Project. For further information about his visit to WIU, contact Janice R. Welsch ( / 309-298-2057).