A Summit of Engagement
Author: Dean Gregorio Ponce, San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus
Knowledge and passion combined are key elements in dealing effectively and decisively with issues that affect a community in order to bring about real change, according to San Diego State University – Imperial Valley Campus Dean Gregorio Ponce.
Dean Ponse said these elements were present in the Environmental Health Leadership Summits he has attended in Imperial County, where community and state officials have come together in a forum that is conducive to the sharing of concerns in our community.
“One of the key aspects of the summit is that Comite Civico brings together leaders not only from the region but really from the state to sit down and talk and learn from each other about this important issue, particularly in Imperial Valley, which is the air quality and public health. By doing so, it really brings the key players to the table to Imperial County,” Ponce said.
At those summits, he has seen community members at different levels and age groups readily coming forward with what they believe their community should be like, and those things or factors keeping them from being it.
“The energy that’s created about these issues, seeing students and community members active in the conversations. I’m very impressed by the knowledge that people bring to the discussion, especially in the public comments. I particularly feel their heartfelt testimonies based on their personal experiences that are very compelling,” Ponce said.
He said the environmental summits organized by Comite Civico del Valley are not your typical notepad conferences; they are unique experiences where things of community importance get done.
“If you want to engage in a conversation about something that impacts you and your community on a daily basis then this is the summit to attend,” Ponce said.