Project MALES will be hosting our second plática of Spring 2022 on Monday, March 28th from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. CDT in room 2.814 of the George I. Sánchez Building (SZB). We have the honor to be joined by Paul M. Saldaña, President and Principal of Saldaña Public Relations, who will discuss the state of public education for Latinos in Austin, Texas.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Mr. Saldaña has spent nearly 30 years in local government relations, public policy, public relations, political consulting and grassroots, multicultural communications. Saldaña served as the Chief of Staff for the first elected Hispanic Mayor of Austin, Gus Garcia. As Chief of Staff, he served as the lead policy advisor to the Mayor developing comprehensive public policies and strategies in the areas of public safety, transportation, affordable housing, telecommunications, public finance, water/wastewater, economic development, public education, social justice, MBE/WBE/HUB/DBE issues, and health care. In addition, he was directly responsible for managing media communications, community, and intergovernmental relations.
Saldaña currently serves as a President and Principal of Saldaña Public Relations, a strategic consultant, advisor, and contributor on quality of life issues including public education, voting, economics, healthcare, redevelopment, gentrification, affordable housing, equity, social justice, MBE/WBE/HUB/DBE, and grassroots multi-cultural community engagement for governmental entities, clients and the media. Saldaña also serves as a political consultant and contributor on local, state, and national campaigns.
Mr. Saldaña is a firm believer in giving back to the community through volunteer work, serving on various boards, civic and community organizations, and being actively involved in social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion initiatives, and public policy issues that enhance and impact the quality of life for Latinos and all Austinites. He is a co-founder of Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin (HABLA), a local Hispanic Think Tank group committed to developing sustainable solutions on public policy and local quality of life issues. And a founding member of the HABLA y VOTA Action Fund Political Action Committee dedicated to supporting the next generation of Latino Leaders, Candidates and Allies, voter registration, education, and fundraising.
Saldaña is the coordinator and a leader with the Austin Latino Coalition, an alliance of twenty Latino serving, civic, community, and non-profit organizations and individual leaders committed to promoting civic engagement and self-determination. Most recently Saldaña has led the efforts on behalf of the Austin Latino Coalition implementing a mitigation and strategic plan, public education, and prevention campaign to address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 in the Austin Latino community. In January 2021, Saldaña was named Person of the Year by La Voz Newspaper for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of Austin’s Latino community during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Saldaña serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Austin Geriatrics RBJ Senior Housing Center in Austin and on the Board of Directors for New Horizons Lacrosse a non-profit supporting youth development in underserved communities through the game of lacrosse. New Horizons encourages the development of High Impact Attributes in players, useful in sports, that also impacts positive decision making, outcomes related to health, education, and risk prevention.
In June 2016 the Young Hispanic Professionals Association of Austin awarded Saldaña the Legacy Award for his years of community advocacy, leadership, and commitment to quality of life issues. In 2007, Saldaña was also among thirty-five national Hispanic executives selected to participate in the Inaugural National Hispanic Executive Leadership Academy at the prestigious University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
In 2014, Saldaña was elected to the Austin Independent School Board of Trustees, as the Trustee for District 6, which includes 19 AISD campuses. In January 2016, Saldaña was elected as VicePresident of the AISD Board of Trustees by his colleagues. During his tenure, Saldaña served as Chair of the AISD Board Oversight Committee on Educational Excellence Through Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, on the Joint Intergovernmental Subcommittee of the City of Austin, Travis County, and AISD and Vice-Chair of the City of Austin’s Regional Affordability Committee.
Pláticas are held monthly during the academic year and highlight faculty and community leaders whose work centers and/or impacts boys and young men of color through research and practice.
Food will be provided from 5:00 – 5:30 P.M. CDT. We invite all UT students, faculty, staff, and community members to join us.