For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
Carrie Johnson
Associate Director, Marketing and Media Relations
(202) 884.0811

April 15 Forum on Diversity, Equity, and Excellence in Higher Education To Be Co-Sponsored by Association of American Colleges and Universities and Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Apr 8, 2015


At Forum, AAC&U Will:

  • Release Findings about equity in higher education and its impact on economic vitality and democratic engagement
  • Issue Call to Action and Campus Guide to Advance Equity and Inclusive Excellence
  • Bring Together Educators, Policymakers, and Business Leaders to Chart Action Agenda

Event:    Diversity, Equity, and Excellence: College Learning and America’s Unmet Promise
When:   April 15, 2015
Where:  Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
             506 South Grand Avenue
             Los Angeles, CA   90071

Washington, DC—April 8, 2015—The Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor a forum on April 15th as part of AAC&U’s Centennial Year exploration of on equity and inclusive excellence in higher education.

The forum is the second in a series of events AAC&U is sponsoring as part of its Centennial Year.  It will bring together educational, policy, civic, and business leaders to examine the learning all college students need to thrive in a knowledge economy and participate actively and responsibly in a diverse and global society.  Participants will examine economic trends both nationally and in the state of California and the implications of those trends for educational policy and practice.

Central to the forum will be a searching dialogue on “the equity imperative”—the need for stronger leadership to ensure that all students, including those from groups traditionally underserved by our educational systems, receive the kinds of experiences—high-impact educational experiences—that will position them for success in a complex and volatile world.  The forum will also feature the best examples of guided pathways programs, practices, and policies in California—programs and policies that deserve greater support and that can be scaled to serve more of California’s traditionally underrepresented students.

The program is open to the media and will feature prominent speakers, including:

Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner, Beacon Economics, LLC
Estela Bensimon. Professor of Higher Education and Co-director of the Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California
Mildred García, President, California State University, Fullerton
David Rattray, Executive Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and President and Executive Director, UNITE-LA
Luis Faura, President and CEO, C&F Foods
Devorah Lieberman, President, University of La Verne
Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U
Eduardo Ochoa, President, California State University, Monterey Bay
David Oxtoby, President, Pomona College

AAC&U will release at the forum two publications:

Step Up and Lead for Equity: What Higher Education Can Do to Reverse Our Deepening Divides

Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning

To receive press credentials and advance copies of these documents, contact Carrie Johnson at or 202.884.0811.

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

About the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce champions economic prosperity and quality of life for the Los Angeles region by being the voice of business, promoting collaboration and helping members grow.  Founded in 1888, the Chamber, as a trustee for the current and future welfare of the region, seeks the full prosperity of the Los Angeles area.

Recognized nationally for its long-standing commitment to education, the Chamber is working to transform education outcomes from cradle to career for Los Angeles students by convening the L.A. Compact.  Signed in 2010, the Compact represents an unprecedented agreement by 23 major Los Angeles institutions, including UNITE-LA, the Los Angeles Unified School District, United Way, the City of Los Angeles, Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, First 5 LA, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and twelve local institutions of higher education. The Compact partners pursue joint strategies to achieve three shared goals: all students graduate from high school, have access to and are prepared for success in college, and have pathways to sustainable jobs and careers.

For more information, visit, and