Time to Get Ready: Civil Rights Photography of Maria Varela

Image of Maria Varela presentation

During Maria Varela’s visit to the Latino Cultural Center on April 20, 2017, Varela shared her experiences and photography during the Civil Rights movement. Among some major discussions, Varela pointed out the relevance between past and current sociopolitical climates as well as the importance of activism.

Her photography will be on display at the National Museum of Mexican Art through July 30th. You can find some of the educational materials she produced as part of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s voter rights efforts here. You can also read more about Maria Varela and other women of the civil rights movement through the book Hands on the Freedom Plow.

Arab American Cultural Center opens!

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As the first of its kind in the midwest, the Arab American Cultural Center officially opened this semester, joining the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change as the seventh center on campus. The ArabAmCC can be found on the first floor of Stevenson Hall, and provides space for students to study, gather, and host events, in addition to some computer space and program offerings. The other CCUSC centers have long supported the idea of opening a new space, and LCC director Rosa Cabrera was on the organizing committee early in the process, understanding the need for support as these students face unique challenges on campus and beyond, particularly in the recent political climate. The new center hosted their first annual graduation celebration this week in Student Center East, as an opportunity for diverse students to celebrate their achievements with family and friends, music and food!

Check out the ArabAmCC’s new website here, or read all about the opening in UIC news here

Reimagining Masculinities and Sexual Assault

On April 11, 2017, the CCUSC Reimagining Masculinities Initiative held a film screening at the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center. The documentary, Yeah, Maybe, No, follows Black, a young gay man who is coming to terms with being a survivor of multiple sexual assaults. After the film, the audience had a moment to collect their thoughts due to the emotional impact of the topics in the film. Tevin Giles, from Howard Brown Health Clinic, which specializes in supporting LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault, led the discussion about male – identified and/or queer survivors of assault and understanding consent. Unfortunately, this is the last program of the Reimagining Masculinities Initiative this semester but don’t worry! They’ll be back in the fall for more groundbreaking and thought-provoking conversations!

Celebrating the Puerto Rican Community

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This year on April 10-14, 2017, the Union for Puerto Rican Students held their 23rd Annual Pa’Lante Conference, centered around the theme of “Celebrating Chicago’s Puerto Rican Community and Scholarship”. As one of the week’s events, the LCC hosted a discussion about Puerto Rican Nationalism, which was led by Professor Jose Lopez and Dr. Margaret Powers. Dr. Powers went into depth about Oscar Lopez’s activism, the importance of cultural centers as gathering spaces and women’s role in leading movements. During the presentations, she discussed Lolita Lebron’s role in the Puerto Rican nationalism, even after she was incarcerated. We strongly encourage anyone that is interested in the history of Puerto Rico’s nationalist movements to come by the Latino Cultural Center to see symbols in the mural, explore the LCC archives, or contact the Union for Puerto Rican Students for more information.

Restoration and Maintenance Noche

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On April 13, 2017, UIC students organized their monthly Noche de Poetas program at the UIC Latino Cultural Center with the theme of Restoration and Maintenance. Guest speakers included Manar Dagash and Eduardo Arocho, and the students in attendance were able to listen to others and explore new ways of being agents of social change. In addition, how students may feel united to the communities on UIC’s campus. Some of the performers were able talk about some ways they would be able to use their talents and attributes to work towards visions of Social Change.

Find more information about the speakers here