José García-Pabon Honored by Rural Sociological Society

by Lynn Roesch

Congratulations, José! The Rural Sociological Society (RSS) recently honored East Shore member, Dr. José García-Pabon, at its 81st Annual Meeting. On Sunday, July 29th, the RSS awarded Dr. García-Pabon, faculty at WSU, its “Excellence in Extension and Public Outreach” Award for his many years of service to rural populations.

José’s work has spanned both Latin America and here in the US. In Latin America, his areas of expertise focused on international development and cooperation, including vocational education in agriculture as well as technical assistance to small and limited-resource farmers and small businesses. Domestically, José concentrates in areas related to Latinos in food and agriculture, sustainable agriculture, and small business and economic development.

In addition to receiving an award at the RSS Annual Meeting, Dr. García-Pabon moderated a panel entitled “DACA, Dreamers, and the Future.” The speakers on this powerful panel included four DACA students and a college employee who works with and supports them. The panelists shared their deeply moving stories, how they came to the US and at what age, the sacrifices their parents made to send them to college, and the reasons they are motivated to work hard at school. The students also talked about their fears as well as their determination to continue, no matter what, and even advocate if DACA is discontinued by the current administration. The college employee talked about the financial and psychological challenges that DACA students face as well as the discrimination, including threats, they have to endure.

Here at East Shore, José is currently Co-Chair of the Beloved Racial Justice Ministry Team. He also was a member of the committee that brought Beloved Conversations to East Shore.

Thank you, José, for your many ongoing contributions to making our world a better place!