Ivan Ramirez

Coordinator of the Multicultural Student Affairs at UMKC and Avanzando Latino Mentoring Program Lead

Where were you born and raised?
Born and raised in Montemorelos, Mexico. Moved to the U.S. in High School.

What is your family heritage?
Mexican.

What is your occupation?
Coordinator of the Multicultural Student Affairs at UMKC and Avanzando Latino Mentoring Program Lead.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
I've been on a few boards were Latino issues are at the forefront. From putting on Latino Arts Festival to getting the vote out. I've remained involved on issues that highlight our culture and educating our community. I've been an advocate for Latino students, seeking to change the narrative in political and educational settings. At the moment, I'm focused on Latino retention and degree completion. I want my work to be an agent of change in diverse communities serving others in the realm of education, political and cultural awareness.

How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
Reading in Spanish, cooking and keeping our recipes alive, listening to music.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Being close to and visiting our family constantly. It would not matter we will at least visit each other or family visited us every week.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it unites our community in celebration of our past and our present. Our community is constantly evolving and for us to pause for a few weeks and show appreciation of our richness means a lot. It let's others know our power as a collective. It makes our culture feel out of the shadows, our cultures are rich and deserve to be highlighted.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
Immigration is a dead given but also education. We need to make sure our students are properly taken care in K-12 that our educators look like the students they are teaching. Our students need to be prepared for Higher Ed as well. Latino students are less likely to complete college than their peers so as professionals it is imperative we work to develop them and get them ready for college.

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