Reimagining Masculinities Kickoff Event

On Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, leaders from the seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change came together to continue ongoing campus conversations about masculinity through the collaborative Reimagining Masculinities Initiative (RMI). With the usage of the infamous bowties, the leaders kicked off the event with a how-to “tie a bowtie” workshop. As explained by the facilitators, the bowtie serves as a metaphor. Because it can be tied in many ways, it is often connected to conversations about the many ways people can express and engage in masculinity, which is multidimensional. This activity was also used to show the audience the importance of communication and teamwork, which are essential to dismantling toxic masculinity. If you missed this event, the next one is in February so stay tuned!

Chocolate Night at Collecting Nature Exhibit

On Friday January 26th, the LCC collaborated with the OPEN Center for their Arts and the Field Museum in a community-based pop-up exhibition event. Artifacts such as taxidermied animals, plant specimens, and artistic pieces were brought from the Field to Little Village, to share with th wider community. As part of the exhibition hosting, they also put on several public programs, including one about the Monarch butterfly and another about Chocolate. The LCC brought several pieces of our own traveling exhibition about chocolate to join in and share a more local story with the other themes of the show. Dance performances, chocolate tastings, and a scientific presentation rounded out the evening with participants of all ages!

Find out more info about the LCC’s traveling Chocolate Exhibition here, or request the show for a space in your community!


Defund Hate

The Latino Cultural Center had a full house this past Wednesday, November 29th, when Gabriela Marquez-Benitez and Barbara Suarez Galeano, organizers with the Detention Watch Network, led a presentation and discussion on dismantling the detention and deportation machine in the U.S. As part of the LCC’s Zona Abierta program series, audience members had the opportunity to participate in a communal discussion about the expanding U.S. immigration detention system, its impact on communities, its relation to the UIC campus community and how to dismantle it, but supporting the #DefundHate campaign. Audience members also took action to protect and defend DACA and TPS by writing a message of support to their representatives.

Find out more about the #DefundHate campaign here

Write your own postcard to support immigrant communities here

Watch a video shown at the event, featuring a local politician highlighting immigration funding

Theatre of the Oppressed

We had a fun and insightful night on November 16th, when Teresa Veramendi came to the LCC to lead a workshop using Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Veramendi shared improvisational theater tactics to help us understand and fight oppressive forces in our immigrant communities. This event is part part of our ongoing ARTivism program series which seeks to advance social justice through creativity and the arts. The image above was part of an activity where we explored vulnerability and control.

Dia de los Muertos 2017: Ceremony & Exhibition

As part of a celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the UIC Latino Cultural Center hosted a series of interactive events both on and off campus. After setting up an altar of ofrendas (offerings) at the center on October 30th, a workshop on November 1st allowed for students to decorate sugar skulls, construct paper flowers, and create seed bombs to celebrate, life, death, and the cultural practices behind day of the dead.. This same day, the Latino Cultural Center honored the late environmental feminist activist, Berta Caceres through an altar at the National Museum of Mexican (see other spotlight).

The next portion of the year’s day of the dead celebration took place on November 2nd and consisted of a ceremony. For the ceremony, Nahua Lessons visited the center to instruct students in Indigenous dance and conducting a symbolic cleansing ceremony. A final event took place at Casa Michoacan as an a collaborative art installation with artist Esperanza Gama, honoring Mexican artisans. This series of events was open to the public and done in an effort to enrich cultural understanding and participation of the practices behind Dia de los Muertos.