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Shakira Named to Obama’s Advisory Panel On Hispanic Education

President Obama‘s office announced today that they have named four individuals to key administration posts, and Shakira is among them!

The posts in question are four seats on the President’s Commission On Educational Education for Hispanics, which is described as “a multi-agency working group within the Department of Education charged with strengthening the nation’s capacity to provide high quality education while increasing opportunities for Hispanic American participation in federal education programs… closing the educational achievement gap for Hispanic Americans.”

The individuals who have been honored with these appointments are:

Montgomery County, Maryland Councilperson and Education Activist, Nancy Navarro

Executive Director of the Partnership for Community Action, Adrian A. Pedroza

Phoenix, Arizona High School Superintendent, Dr. Kent P. Scribner

Activist and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll

That’s right – the President of the United States just hired Colombian-born pop star Shakira!

We are totally thrilled to hear that Shaki will have a hand in shaping the minds of generations of Hispanic youth. After all, she brings tons of experience and insight to the role, and will add a global perspective to the team:

“Per the White House: Ms. Mebarak Ripoll has been involved in a number of global educational efforts. She founded the Barefoot Foundation in 1995, which operates schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, feeding and educating approximately 6,000 children.  In 2010, she collaborated with theWorld Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to establish an initiative that distributes educational and developmental programs for children across Latin America”, says the statement.

And it adds,

“In 2008, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll served as the Honorary Chair of theGlobal Campaign for Education’s Global Action Week.  In 2005, she became a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote integrated early childhood public policies.”

Wow! An impressive resume! And she sings a little, too.

So, is this appointment also a clever political maneuver to curry favor with Hispanics and particularly Hispanic youths in what is sure to be a difficult presidential re-election campaign for Obama? Is the President merely giving his Hispanic Education initiative a friendly and recognizable public face with built-in publicity value? Would a republican president have made a similar appointment?



By Vanessa Beatriz Soto



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