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Alumni and Friends

Support Latina/o Studies

Comedian and actor Cheech Marin being interviewed by Dean Carlos Jackson of the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design

Although Latinx people now represent the largest racial minority population in the United States, most students in primary and college level courses remain woefully uninformed about this dynamic and growing community. The Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan combats such curricular ignorance through our innovative research, dynamic teaching, and community engagement. We challenge durable and destructive xenophobic narratives that too often construe Latinx people as constituting an “invasion” by sharing stories from 170 years of national belonging. Our students and faculty hold fast to recovering and understanding these unique histories, contributions, challenges among Latinx communities within the U.S. Founded out of student activism in 1984, the Latina/o Studies Program has always been uniquely oriented to understanding specific Latinx populations (Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, Dominican American, and the Central American diaspora) as well as their relationships to each other.

Your Gifts at Work

“I am so grateful for the work of the students who asked for the program and the faculty who have worked so hard to implement it. With the United States' growing Latinx population, it feels increasingly important to have representative programs, and I have felt so consistently inspired and challenged by every single professor I have had in the department. I made the (very lucky) choice to declare a Latinx Studies major last year when I took a Latinx Literature class–I was absolutely floored by just how much I didn't know, by how much I wanted to know, and by the intentionality and love behind the words of the authors that we read. Every class I've taken has shown me, just as that first class did, what a wealth of knowledge there is within the Latinx Studies department and the field itself, and I remain immensely grateful for every educator who has so thoughtfully taken the time to help guide myself and others who are pursuing the same path as I am.”

– Mallery Bee, Class of ’24

Andrea Gonzalez, far right

“The Latina/o Studies Programs to me means having an open field to explore the multiple roles and history that exist through Latin America. At an institution ranked #1 for research, the program offers a plethora of classes taught by the leading experts in their field of Latina/o studies. Through this program, it means being able to connect with my culture while being away from my family. For example, participating in Latinx Heritage Month events like its welcome ceremony day event, and being able to attend its cultural events during or near Hispanic Heritage Month like its Day of the Dead Ofrenda that is hosted during November through the residential college by the faculty of the Latina/o studies program. From the department of Latina/o studies, the knowledge these experts share has enhanced my desire to connect and earn the opportunity to work with them both in class and in my community. Recently, I had the privilege of participating in the Spanish Language Internship Program (SLIP), a course and program that grants students the opportunity to be involved and connected with the Latino Community by volunteering and teaching through community-based organizations. It has allowed me to not only connect with people from Latin America and learn more about their identities but has also uplifted me in bringing more awareness to the Latina/o community at the University of Michigan. Currently as a student in this program, I've had the honor of taking over 16 credits of Latina/o classes that have taught me about the importance of social change within the Latina/o community and have helped me as I continue my civic goodwill and advocacy work for the Latinx community. Within this, I had the ability to advocate for social change through one of the classes that this program offers named “Latina/o Theatre for Social Change”. Through this class, I was able to perform in a written play that I, along with other students, were able to advocate for undocumented communities. The amazing professors and faculty make their classrooms and events feel like home. Because of this program, I can pursue a major that I love and I'm passionate about it!”

–Andrea Gonzalez, Class of ’25

Annual Day of the Dead Ofrenda

"I value how the Latina/o Studies Program provides students with dynamic courses that cover cross-cultural issues, historical realities, and the experiences of Latinos in the United States. I am also thankful to offer opportunities for students to engage with our Latine community, challenging them to obtain a deeper understanding of existing issues through community engagement.”

–Teresa Sanchez-Snell, Faculty Associate Representative to the Latina/o Studies Advisory Board, Program Coordinator & Lecturer II, The Spanish Language Internship Project

Ways to Give

Latina/o Studies Strategic Fund

We offer leadership which strengthens the intellectual terrain of our campus through a richer commitment to real diversity of the nation. Our donors share in that pledge by allowing us to support new course development, public presentations of the newest research on Latinx people, and by providing an intellectual home for undergraduates committed to Latinx issues.¡Saber es poder!

Latina/o Theatre for Social Change class, Fall 2022, with visiting Brazilian theatre makers

Thank you for supporting Latina/o Studies!