Purpose and History

Since 2005, the College of Arts and Sciences has hosted an annual symposium related to a social justice issue on the main campus of New Mexico State University. Held in J. Paul Taylor's name, the symposium honors the former teacher and state representative’s lifelong commitments to the people of our region and New Mexico. The symposium grew out of a conversation between then NMSU presidential candidate, Michael Martin and Mr. Taylor regarding strategies for bringing the scholarship, teaching, and other resources of the university to bear on the problems faced by the least privileged citizens of our region and the state.

The symposia, held near the birthday of Cesar Chávez, are designed to build upon existing university/community partnerships through reciprocal education, outreach, and strategizing as part of our land grant mission. Each year scholars, students, community stakeholders, and policy makers gather from across the state and region to explore, learn, and work together on strategies for reform and justice.

The 13th annual Symposium, titled “Voices of the Invisible Majority: Social Justice and Mental Health,” is centered on the experience and treatment of mental illness. It will be held on March 14-15, 2017 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. This year we have returned to our “roots” and brought together NMSU faculty and staff with Leaders from community organizations to provide speakers, performances, and a film screening for the Las Cruces Community. We are excited about our collaboration and about encouraging understanding and hope among those who struggle with mental illness as well as their families, friends, and colleagues.

Previous symposia included the following:

  • 2005 - Justice for Youth

  • 2006 - Justice for Women of Juarez

  • 2007 - Environmental Justice

  • 2008 - Justice for Immigrants

  • 2009 - Justice for Youth

  • 2010 - Service Learning and Social Justice

  • 2011 - Justice for the Children of Detained and Incarcerated Parents

  • 2012 and 2013 - Qualify of Life Initiative of Dona Ana County

  • 2014 - Justice for Native Peoples

  • 2015 - Justice for Migrant Youth and Children

  • 2016 - Social Justice for LGBTQ Identities in the Borderlands

©2005 NMSU Board of Regents - Legal Information - Search - NMSU Home - Organ Mountain photo by Mike Groves
view photo