On Purpose: Portrait of Chicano & Latino Studies

To commemorate our 150th anniversary in 2018, the College of Liberal Arts commissioned 60 photographs taken by Xavier Tavera. Departments and programs partnered with Tavera to envision their images and to write the narratives that accompany each photograph. View On Purpose: Portrait of the Liberal Arts.

Photo of Francisco Rosales, Ikal Avila, Ramona A. de Rosales, Reina-Xareni Spears, Jimmy Patiño, and Emilio Aviña

February 11, 1972

(For immediate release)
A department of Chicano Studies in the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts was established today….

The objectives of the program…are (1) To provide, within the higher education system, an academic focal point of identification for the Chicanos and their way of life, (2) To provide needed course sequences for Chicano students, (3) To provide opportunities for non-Chicano students to learn about the cultural and historical heritage of Chicanos, (4) to provide a base for inquiry into various aspects of Chicano life and culture, and (5) To provide a base of further institutional provision for the community.

A CLA committee prepared a proposal for Chicano Studies last year and the plan was under study last fall when a group of Chicano students demanded a department “within 72 hours.”
This will be the first program of Chicano Studies to be offered by a college or university in the five-state Midwest area.

June 18, 2017

The faculty of the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota expresses our outrage at the verdict to find Officer Jeronimo Yañez not guilty of manslaughter for the shooting of Philando Castile….Given that we live side-by-side with the Black community across the country, and that the diverse Latinx/o/a community includes identities tied to African and Indigenous diasporas, we find this tragic event unacceptable and new forms of solidarity urgent.

September 5, 2017

As faculty and staff in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies we stand in solidarity with undocumented migrants in the United States during a time when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is under threat….While we recognize that DACA is not a perfect solution, we acknowledge the immense labor families, workers, organizers, and community members put forth to pressure policy makers to create an alternative pathway for migrants. 

October 4, 2017

...writing to strongly object to your poster campaign to recruit members and sell dinners at the Campus Club by culturally appropriating Día de los Muertos….I have grown up in a culture that sees this as a ritualized way of remembering and honoring our dead. It is not a holiday, nor is it anything like Halloween. It is a familial, community, and spiritual tradition for many Latinos. There are many aspects to this ritual that are deeply meaningful to us. We do not appreciate having this used in such a commercial manner by an organization outside the culture, by people who do not understand the significance or meaning of Día de los Muertos. 

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