About the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center

The Latino Cultural Center is one of seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC), under the Office of Diversity. The Centers are committed to student retention through intercultural engagement, vibrant scholarship, mentorship, and dynamic community partnerships focused on social justice.  Through engaged-learning opportunities and ongoing acts of activism and advocacy, the Centers validate the lived experiences of historically marginalized students, thus welcoming them to be their full selves and improving their overall student success at UIC.

Our Mission

The Latino Cultural Center (LCC) engages campus and local communities to deepen understanding of the diverse cultural heritages and identities of Latinxs, issues affecting their lives, and creative solutions they are using to improve community life. The LCC offers engaged learning co-curricular opportunities that feature cultural and artistic expressions, intercultural and civic dialogues, scholarly presentations, and first-voice stories.

The Latino Cultural Center:

  • Offers social and environmental justice Civic Dialogues and Tours of our mural El Despertar de las Américas (the largest contemporary indoor mural in Chicago) to connect UIC courses material to community challenges and solutions.
  • Connects UIC campus with community leaders, artists, and cultural institutions through public programs including: Zona Abierta, Civic Cinema, Noche de Poetas, ARTivismand Special Programs.
  • Coordinates and supervises internships for the Heritage Garden and lends its expertise in collaborative projects including L@S GANAS for STEM students.

Our Guiding Principles and Practices

These principles shape the work of the Latino Cultural Center:

  • 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 link the past to contemporary life; and
  • Solidarity across historically marginalized communities in the U.S. and globally is paramount to advocate for social and environmental justice. Therefore, we are committed to respecting intersectional identities and affirming differences of racial/ethnic, class, disability, gender, sexuality, immigration status, and religion.