While most individuals have a cursory level understanding of the racial tensions that exists between African Americans and Latinos, there is little discussion regarding the challenges and struggles between these two cultural groups. For this reason, the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) invited the Los Angeles community to participate in a discussion with a panel of African American and Latino high school students, parents, educators, and mental health professionals to further understand the issues between these two groups and generate strategies to resolve them.


On May 13, 2008 the panel and guests gathered at the West Los Angeles graduate campus for an honest dialogue. Panelists included Dr. Anthony Collatos, assistant professor of Education at GSEP; Dr. Donald Grant, site coordinator for CalWORKS Homeless Families projects; Mary Johnson, chair of the Los Angeles Unified School District Parent Collaborative; Valerie Munoz, Lynwood parent representative; Rogelio Serrano, a licensed marriage and family therapist; Francisco Torrero, Los Angeles parent representative; students from Gertz-Ressler High School, Krystal Johnson, Tiffany Mathis, and Matthew Young; and students from South Gate High School, Myra Peña and Brittney Ortiz.