Institute for Latino Studies to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Author: Arts and Letters

The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies will celebrate its 10th anniversary with several events, including an academic symposium titled “Latino Studies: Past, Present and Future” from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 16) in the McKenna Hall auditorium.

Rev. Virgilio Elizondo, professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology at Notre Dame, will deliver the keynote address at 11:45 a.m. and Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., assistant professor of theology, will serve as moderator for the day. Also speaking at the event will be Gilberto Crdenas, ILS director, assistant provost and Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies; and Allert Brown-Gort, ILS associate director.

Additional speakers and panelists include Ramona Hernandez, City College of New York; Jos Limn, University of Texas, Austin; Mara Cristina Garca, Cornell University; Alicia Gaspar De Alba, University of California, Los Angeles; Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University; Arlene Dvila, New York University; and Roberto Goizueta, Boston College.

The film A Forgotten Injustice will be screened at 6:30p.m. Monday (Sept. 14) in the Annenberg Auditorium of the Snite Museum of Art. The documentary tells the story of 2 million Mexican-Americans and U.S. citizens who were forced out of the United States during the Great Depression in the 1930s simply because they were of Mexican descent. The screening is a free, but ticketed, event. Tickets are available by visiting the ILS in Room 230 of McKenna Hall.

“Sharing our Stories, Sharing our Poems,” a Letras Latinas literary presentation featuring award-winning poet Orlando Ricardo Menes and poet, novelist and activist Alicia Gaspar de Alba, will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday (Sept. 17) in Room 210-214 of McKenna Hall.

Founded in 1999, the ILS plays a pivotal role in providing an academic environment that advances knowledge and understanding of the Latino experience in the United States. As an interdisciplinary unit, the institute seeks to incorporate the study of the Latino population of the United States as a vital component of Notre Dame’s academic mission and also provides an administrative home and support for the Latino student clubs on campus.

“Students are central to our mission and have been incorporated into the life of the institute from the beginning,” Crdenas said. “Recognizing that the needs of individual students vary, we strive to create a sense of community at Notre Dame by maintaining a balance among education, research and outreach.”

ILS initiatives have helped get Notre Dame routinely ranked among Hispanic Business Magazine’s “Top 25 Colleges for Latinos,” but Brown-Gort says the institute is more than a haven for Latinos.

“One of the things we’re proudest of is that about half of the students in both our minor and our supplementary major are non-Latino,” he said. “They understand that knowing about this population can give them an edge in business, pre-med or sociology. We’re here to serve campus because there are very few disciplines that are not going to be impacted by the rapid growth of Latinos in the U.S.”

Additional information about the ILS is available by visiting on the Web.

Contact: Courtney Craig, ILS , 574-631-4440,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on September 14, 2009.