About the Latino Cultural Center
Established in 1976, the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) was the first cultural center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The center was born out of a mid-1970s movement which also sparked the emergence of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program in 1974 and the Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services Program in 1975. The LCC emerged as the third pillar of this movement thanks to visionary Latina/o students, faculty, staff, and community members, who fought tirelessly for a cultural center to support the academic growth of the increasing Latina/o student population on campus. The LCC was named after the late Rafael Cintrón Ortiz, a Puerto Rican professor who unconditionally supported the creation of the center and was an inspirational figure to students on campus.
Our Vision and Mission
The Latino Cultural Center vision is a world in which the distribution of resources is equitable and Latinos, Latin Americans and all other members of the world are healthy and secure. Our mission therefore, is to expand the appreciation for–and understanding of–Latino cultures on campus and throughout local communities, as well as to ensure that Latina/o students have a positive self-defined identity and practical tools to help them graduate, join the workforce, and become the next generation of leaders.
To accomplish our vision and mission, the LCC identifies, creates, and promotes opportunities to:
- Help students, faculty/staff, community members and local communities deepen their understanding of Latino cultures, issues, and assets;
- Support the academic and professional growth of students in the areas of leadership development, civic engagement, cultural and environmental sustainability, and intercultural skills development;
- Support faculty scholarship and their engagement with students and communities; and
- Harness community knowledge and assets to build coalitions for positive social change.
Our Guiding Framework
Three principles provide a framework that guides the work of the LCC:
- Personal and group identity is always in flux and shaped by social circumstances through interactions among the diverse members of a community, and between those members and outsiders;
- Culturally-specific museums and cultural centers have the potential to shape personal and community identity in meaningful ways when they help their members to draw on their cultural heritage to address contemporary issues; and
- Intercultural skills are required to thrive in the 21st century.