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America Fast Forward?

President's speaker series continues Jan. 30

“America Fast Forward?: Demographic Shifts, Economic Challenges, and the Future of California” will be the topic addressed by University of Southern California professor Manuel Pastor on Jan. 30, when the President’s Speaker Series resumes at Cal State Monterey Bay.

The social and economic changes in California in the last few decades foreshadowed what is now happening in the nation as a whole; indeed, the demographic change in the state between 1980 and 2000 is what the U.S. is projected to experience between 2000 and 2050.

In our passage, rising immigration, widening inequality, and a strained fiscal system challenged the state (and now the nation), but we are now at a critical turnaround as our demography stabilizes, our economy catches its breath, and public finances are finally on (slightly) firmer ground.

What’s ahead for the Golden State? How do we ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability for the next generation of Californians? And what are the lessons for a nation experiencing widening divides by income, geography and politics?

Dr. Pastor is a professor of sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at USC. He directs the university’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. His research focuses on movement building and the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income communities.

He has written several books and speaks nationally on issues including demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment.

His presentation will start at 3:30 p.m. in the World Theater on Sixth Avenue near A Street. A question-and-answer session and a public reception will follow. Driving directions and a campus map are available here.

The community is invited to this free event. No tickets are necessary, but reservations are requested. Please RSVP by calling the World Theater box office at 582-4580 or going online.

The theme of this year’s speaker series is “Future Monterey Bay.” During the school year, three speakers will visit campus to address various aspects of the theme. The series kicked off in November with a talk by Stanford University professor and futurist Paul Saffo.

The speaker series is in keeping with Cal State Monterey Bay’s role as a community resource, providing forums for provocative discussions that can impact thought and action on issues important to our community.