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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Latinx Huskies

A Celebration of Latinx Culture & History--Curated by the University Libraries, the NIU Latino Resource Center & the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies

Building a Community for Latinx Students and Faculty at NIU

             Exterior, sign for Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and Latino Resource Cente; people crowded around the signr           Black and white image of blueprint of LRC building, ground floor      Black and white image of blueprint of LRC building, second floor

The University Resources for Latinos (URL), now known as the Latino Resource Center (LRC) at Northern Illinois University, traces its origins to 1978. The original Latino house was destroyed to make room for a parking structure. Several years later, upon student insistence, the URL received a new location. In 1992, the URL shared its physical space with the International Student & Faculty Office at the Knetsch House. As the number of Latino student organizations increased, Dr. George Gutierrez, director of the URL at the time, requested more space to accommodate the student groups. His persistence resulted in the removal of the International Student & Faculty Office leaving the URL with the entire Knetsch House for its Latino students in 1996.

The Knetsch House, however, required immediate repairs. Also, the goal was to combine the URL and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies offices together under one building to provide more centralized services to Latinos at NIU. Thus, NIU administration proposed remodeling and expanding the house but NIU Latino students and URL staff were eager to have a new facility built. In addition, NIU administration realized the cost of building a new facility was slightly similar to the cost of remodeling the existing structure. After proposals for remodeling were rejected and with student insistence and persuasion by the URL director, the NIU administration decided to demolish the old Knetsch House and build a new facility in 1997. In the summer of 1999, the new Latino center building was completed.

Today, the LRC serves as a central resource for Latinos on campus and in the community to assist and encourage them to persist at NIU. The LRC offers students opportunities to participa te in cultural, social and academic programs that enhance their classroom experiences. Furthermore, in an effort to create learning opportunities beyond the classroom that inspire intellectual, personal and civic growth for leadership, the LRC provides community outreach/service opportunities.

Latino Resource Center (n.d.). Historyhttps://www.niu.edu/lrc/about/history.shtml

Latino Resource Center (LRC)

Mission and Vision

The Latino Resource Center (LRC) is a diversity center under the Division of Academic Affairs at NIU designed to serve the Latina/o student population. The LRC promotes a social justice agenda and an inclusive environment where we seek to recruit, retain, empower and advance Latina/o students at NIU. We achieve this mission by offering mentoring programs, leadership programs, peer support groups and academic advancement programs.

The LRC also possesses a strong commitment to the following:

  • Providing a safe space for all students irrespective of nationality, language, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship or immigrant status. To support the development of self-advocacy of students so that they may attain their academic and professional aspirations.
  • Understanding the value of family involvement in a student’s educational journey and engaging the family unit through outreach initiatives and community collaboration.
  • Promoting an agenda that supports Latino student success by actively participating in nationwide and statewide movements and seeking ways to collaborate with local entities.
  • Developing programs that not only target the needs of students but also focus on the immediate issues and concerns of our community.

Welcome to the NIU Latino Resource Center

NIU Latinx Oral History Project

The Center for Latino and Latin American Studies established the NIU Latinx Oral History Project in 2014 to document the lives and experiences of Latinxs in the Midwest. The collection contains over 150 audio and video interviews with NIU faculty, students, and staff, undocumented migrants, community activists and leaders, and other Latinxs in the region. Many of the interviews have focused on themes of family, identity formation, Latinx social and political organizing, and the difficulties faced by the undocumented in the United States. Interviews continue to be collected and processed by NIU undergraduate and graduate students. Some interviews have also been deposited in the Regional History Center at NIU’s Founders Memorial Library and are open to researchers for consultation.

NIU Latino Success

Center for Latino and Latin American Studies (CLLAS)

We serve as a home for the interdisciplinary study of the Latino experience in the United States as well as Latin America and the Caribbean. Our curricular offerings in the humanities, arts and social sciences are enhanced by our academic and cultural programming and community outreach activities.

We offer a minor in Latino and Latin American Studies. Our minor features classes and research led by NIU faculty from several different colleges and provides detailed knowledge of the Latino experience in the United States as well as Latin American civilization, which enriches the general educational experience of students and offers several practical applications. Future educators gain knowledge of the cultural heritage of their Latino students.

Our minor also provides other future professionals with the knowledge to maximize their job performance in regions with Latino populations. Latino students enrolled in the minor also acquire a broader understanding of their history and culture.

Courses (Minor in Latino/Latin American Studies)

Coordinator: Christina Abreu, director, Center for Latino and Latin American Studies

The minor in Latino and Latin American studies provides students with detailed knowledge of the Latino experience in the United States as well as Latin American civilization, enriches the general educational experience of students, and offers several practical applications. It prepares future teachers to lecture in Latino and Latin American studies and provides them with knowledge of the cultural heritage of their Latino students. The minor also provides other future professionals with knowledge to maximize their job performance in regions with Latino populations. Latino students enrolled in the minor also acquire a broader understanding of their history and culture. The 18 semester hours required for the minor must come from at least two departments, with no more than 12 semester hours from one department. Students participating in the Latino/Latin American Studies Minor may apply up to 9 semester hours from their major toward the minor.

Check departmental information for additional requirements.

Student Resources

Voces of a Pandemic

Warm toned drawing of a young man wearing a non-surgical mask.

Exploring the Stories of the Latina/o Community Affected by the Coronavirus

Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the Latino Center (1999-2019)

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Latino Resource Center and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. (2019). Latino Center 20th Anniversary (PowerPoint Presentation). 

Past Events