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All-day seminars at SWT will honor EEOC June 29

Date of release: 06/08/00

Ida Castro, Chairwoman of the EEOC

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Southwest Texas State University is honoring the 35th anniversary of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on June 29 by hosting a “Chautauqua” featuring past and current officers of the EEOC and lawyers who work with the organization.

Current chairwoman of the national EEOC, Ida Castro, will give the Lyndon B. Johnson Distinguished Lecture at 7:30 p.m. as the culminating event of the day in the Alkek Library Teaching Theater.

Castro, a former labor and employment attorney and professor, is the first Latina to head the EEOC and has held the position for almost two years. She joined the organization after four years with the Department of Labor as acting director of the Women’s Bureau, deputy assistant secretary and director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation.

“As chairwoman, Ms. Castro has implemented an innovative agenda to increase the fairness, quality, effectiveness and efficiency of all aspects of agency operations," according to the EEOC. “Ms. Castro has focused on expanding outreach, education and technical assistance to a broad range of stakeholders, seeking to prevent discrimination in the first instance, while pursuing fair and vigorous enforcement against ‘bad actors’.”

Castro received a B.A. degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and M.A. and J.D. degrees from Rutgers University of New Jersey.

The evening lecture is the capstone in a daylong series of panel talks about the past, present and future of the EEOC. The series begins at 8:30 a.m. with discussions on the history of the EEOC followed by discussions with early EEOC commissioners and investigators, as well as current investigators and directors. An itinerary is provided below.

Chautauqua lectures were established in the late 1800s as a means of engaging citizens in dialogue. For 10 years, during the late 1800s, Chautauquas were held each summer in a wooden tabernacle on the hill where Old Main, the focal building of SWT, is now located. The LBJ Lecture Series was established as a promise to President Johnson, whose desire it was to bring the finest minds in the country to speak at his alma mater.