Monthly archives: September, 2017

Artivism! Printmaking

Image of printmaking participants

On September 28, 2017, Eric J. Garcia visited the UIC Latino Cultural Center for a printmaking workshop as part of the center’s Artivism program series. Garcia, an artist and political cartoonist, instructed members of the UIC community in creating postcard-prints advocating for solutions for immigration and environmental justice issues. In creating these postcards, guests could write messages for representatives and government officials in an effort to encourage further action on these social issues.

Students Speak Out Against Hate

On Wednesday, September 20th, the Social Justice Initiative, in collaboration with UIC’s Centers​ for Cultural​ Understanding and Social Change, hosted a lunch discussion at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum called “Students Speak Out Against Hate.” The discussion included a group of diverse voices from the UIC Student Action, Native American Student Organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, Fearless Undocumented Alliance, the Inclusive Collective. Students reflected on how each of their communities have been affected by racist and sexist policies. This included reflections on the rescinding of DACA and on Native American erasure at the University level. The panel also offered suggestions as to how to get involved on campus to increase efforts of resistance.

L@s GANAS dialogues begin!

Image of Las Ganas dialogue

On September 6th and 13th, the Latino Cultural Center hosted their first two dialogues with the students from the L@s GANAS Research cohort class. L@s GANAS stands for Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for the Advancement of Science, and it is funded by the Hispanic Serving Institution federal grant, including multiple forms of support for UIC students. At the dialogue, students discussed what it means to be part of Latinx cultures as STEM students, and engaged with activities to help the participants get to know one another, appreciate their shared cultures, and consider each other teammates on the path to success. They will attend more dialogues in the future over the course of their two-year research project, exploring history, challenges, and contemporary assets of Latinos in the fields of science. Find more information here.

Mural updates 2017

On Tuesday, August 29th, Hector Duarte, artist of El Despertar de Las Americas, returned to the UIC Latino Cultural Center to add another honorable face to the mural. Berta Cáceres was a Honduran environmental and human rights activist. She is most widely known for her involvement in stopping the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam, which was not only organized in violation of the rights of the indigenous Lenca people but would also result in the depletion of their resources. In 2013, the efforts against the dam forced construction to come to a standstill. Unfortunately, with Cáceres’ success came backlash and in March 2016, she was gunned down in her home. The LCC recognizes her bravery and dedication, and hopes others will do the same. Click here for more information about Berta Cáceres.

In addition to Berta, Duarte also added two small but significant additions to the mural. In the Warrior Eagle scene above the stage, in the image of a collective march, the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was added to one of the t-shirts, in response to student and community requests over the past couple of years during public programs and arts-based civic dialogues. On another wall, Duarte added to the faux pillar in the Hub for Social Change scene, which has been used to commemorate events in LCC history, such as the student protests that led to the creation of the center, the death of Rafael Cintrón Ortiz, and visits like that of Rigoberta Menchú. To these important events, we have added a recognition of the LCC’s 40th anniversary, celebrated in 2016.

Image of Duarte editing mural

DACA announcement

On Tuesday, September 5th 2017, the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), an executive order by President Obama that provided work authorization and temporary protection from deportation to approximately 800,000 undocumented people brought as children into the US.

Upon the announcement of the end of the DACA Program, the Latino Cultural Center opened their doors to the UIC community to provide a safe space for undocumented folks to see the announcement and react to the news. During the day, students and faculty came to the LCC to make posters as they prepared for the Protection for All rally that took place in Federal Plaza. As the UIC community moves forward in the aftermath of this announcement, the LCC reaffirms their commitment to standing in solidarity with undocumented students and families. Find more resources here.