In honor of Hispanic Heritage Week, actor, producer and director Edward James Olmos will be speaking on Wednesday, November 9 at The Grand Theatre at South City Campus at the 2011 Tanner Forum on Social Ethics. He will be giving a lecture from noon to 1:00 p.m. discussing activism and social justice in the nation.
Olmos is dedicated to being a voice for young Latinos and troubled youth. He encourages them to pursue their dreams and look forward to a better future through hard work. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, he is aware of the struggles that follow most young Latinos who live in similar cities. Olmos believes that no matter what “race” you are labeled as, in reality, there is only one race and that is the human race. Olmos looks to inspire people to become more united and to have more support each other.
Olmos debutted in the film “Bogard” which was released in 1974. In 1979, he won a Tony Award for his performance as El Pachuco in “Zoot Suit.”
Olmos has directed several episodes for the many television shows he has been a part of, including “Miami Vice” and “Battlestar Galactica.” He made his directorial film debut in 1992 when he released “American Me.”
Other notable roles include high school math teacher Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver,” the tough but dedicated father role of Abraham Quintanilla in “Selena” and more recently, the intelligent but persistent Professor Gellar in the television series “Dexter.”
Olmos frequently makes visits to Boys and Girls Clubs, juvenile halls, detention centers and local schools, encouraging children to make the decision to keep moving forward in life. He stresses the fact that if he could become successful and live his dreams, anyone can.
Students and the public are welcomed to attend this free lecture to get to know the real Edward James Olmos and to understand that although he has done many things in the entertainment industry, he has a deep passion for informing the public about the needs and rights of America’s youth.
The Tanner Forum on Social Ethics is an annual event that was formed in 2000. Its purpose is to bring nationally and internationally known speakers to Salt Lake Community College to discuss and make the public more aware of social ethics.