Latino Research Center

Our mission

The Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno serves as a nexus between the Latino community and the University. Its mission is to foster research, student achievement, faculty collaboration, advocacy and outreach in a manner that best meets the educational needs and goals of the State of Nevada and best honors the intellectual and cultural capital of the Latino presence in our state.

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Our history

Directors

  • Darrell Lockhart, Ph.D., 2004 - 2008
  • Emma Sepúlveda, Ph.D., 2009  - 2017
  • Steering committee, 2017-2019
    • Mario Alpuche, Ph.D.
    • Lorraine Benuto, Ph.D.
    • Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Ph.D.
    • Jafeth Sanchez, Ph.D.
  • Julie E. Lucero, MPH, Ph.D.,  2019-present

The Latino Research Center (LRC) opened its doors fall semester of 2004 with initial startup funds from the United States (U.S.) Department of Education, supported by former U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Nevada Assemblywomen Sheila Leslie. The LRC served as an entity of the Foreign Languages Department, now the Department of World Languages & Literatures (WLL), before its 2017 reposition directly under the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The LRC was first introduced to the University of Nevada, Reno as the Latino Institute for Advocacy in Education, Research and Policy; while the name changed, the mission has remained the same.

In 2002, Latinos in Nevada represented 18.6 percent of the state’s population with a projected one percent annual increase, becoming the fastest growing minority, a motivation for the LRC development. Despite the anticipated growth, the Latinx community within the state had limited access to decision-making processes. The lack of research and ability to disseminate pertinent information too often hindered the Latinx community’s ability to create a unified vision and collaboratively work on implementations.

Linking the Latino community

Since its emergence, the LRC’s commitment has been to help advance the social position of the Latinx community within the State of Nevada in areas of public policy and education through research, advocacy, and outreach.

The establishment of partnerships within the local community and educational institutes allowed collaboration to develop and gave the ability to host teacher-training programs to address bias and cultural sensitivity. The LRC built a reputation of holding outstanding educational cultural events like El Dia de Los Muertos Celebration, the Hispanic Heritage Month event series involving Latino artists, authors and film showings. The LRC also helped the local community fill a gap in the Spanish-language arts with theater performance collaborations like Las Mujeres de Juarez and El Vagon, two plays depicting struggles of Latinx border-town communities and immigrants.

To keep apprised of the changing roles of Latinos in relation to economics, politics, education and social institutions, Border-Lines, the LRC’s annual academic journal was established. First published in 2006, this journal is a platform for scholars, community leaders and policy makers to interact and engage in critical discussion.

Today, the LRC continues to accomplish its mission by collaborating with various colleges and departments within the University, community organizations, state and national agencies. We build on and recognize the successes of our predecessors while also developing new programs to address current needs in the Latinx community in Nevada. A persistent challenge for the community is the creation of a place and climate in which to carry out discussions on contemporary social and political issues.

The LRC is committed to building a climate for the positive exchange of ideas by providing a place and opportunity for the Latinx community to communicate ideas and solutions.