LatinX Heritage Month 2021

Latinx Heritage Month:
“Being in community brings a sense of comfort”
By Clara Martinez, Public Policy, Society, and Identity Academic and Career Advisor and Pre-law Coordinator

My name is Clara Martinez and I work in Tykeson College and Career Advising. I have two roles, one as a public policy, society, and identity academic and career advisor and the pre-law coordinator. I am proud to identify as Guatemalan and part of the Mayan Akateko Indigenous group.

Clara Martinez

I see Latinx Heritage Month as an opportunity to celebrate the diversity, resilience, and beauty of the community. Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It officially became a federal celebration in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded to a month in 1988. The time was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence for countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the month is by attending events on and off campus. One year that stands out to me is 2019. I remember running into colleagues attending a Fiesta Cultural event and seeing another colleague perform at an event in Springfield. Those moments stand out and being in community brings a sense of comfort.

With COVID-19 pausing last year’s in-person celebrations, I missed being around folx, but we still continued to support one another virtually. Not only for Heritage Month, but into the school year. One space I think about is the Latinx Strategies Group. We continued to meet and check in with one another. I am looking forward to when we can attend in-person events and to see the community grow more on campus.

Students Angel Escorcia-Nunez and Jennifer Beltran spoke with Apryl Jackson about their experiences being Latinx on campus.

“Knowing that there are people out there that really care about me [in the Latinx community] and want to see me succeed, that I can rely on for any type of support, is just amazing.”
Angel Escorcia-Nunez
“In our board meetings [at MEChA] we share vulnerability with each other . . . just seeing I’m not the only one struggling through these challenging times, there are other students like me who are going through similar things, it’s comforting.”
Jennifer Beltran


Two dancers in traditional latino dress.  Woman in a long red skirt and a man in a man in a white shirt and cowboy hat.
Latinx Studies Minor

The first year of the Latinx Studies program was a success, with 20 students from various majors declaring the new minor and the creation of an undergraduate experiential learning fellowship in Latinx Studies. As part of this program, three undergraduates were awarded stipends of $2000 or $4000 to work on guided research projects supervised by faculty who teach in the program. We also partnered with the Undergraduate Research Symposium to offer awards to three students who presented work related to Latinx Studies at the spring event. We also offered three events open to the university and alumni community via Zoom. Together, these new programs and partnerships set the stage for Latinx Studies to become a high-profile program that will continue to grow.

- Audrey Lucero, Director, Latinx Studies

About the Minor

Latinx Alumni in the Spotlight

Perla Alvarez Lucio graduated in 2017 with a BA in ethnic studies. She now works as the executive Director of Oregon Voice in Portland, Oregon using the skills needed to be a community organizer while at the UO.

Perla Alvarez

Read more about her experiences at the UO and her journey from undecided to an executive director

Brandt Hamilton ’14, Advertising major and a first-generation Mexican-American

Brandt Hamilton ’14, a first-generation Mexican-American, graduated from the UO School of Journalism and Communication with an emphasis on advertising.

He transformed his college standup into writing for comedy legends like Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and Mike Judge.

Read more about his experiences at the UO and his journey from SOJC to comedy writer


Patos Alumni Network
Get involved with the Patos Alumni Network

The Patos Alumni Network is open to all and celebrates our common experiences at the university. The network also promotes, educates, and celebrates the diversity of our heritage, including providing support in recruitment and retaining of students from our communities.

Patos Alumni Network



Farmworkers harvesting crops


COVID-19 has hit farmworkers especially hard, UO studies show

“A new UO study, which was recently shared with the U.S. secretary of labor, shows that COVID-19 has caused long-term economic, social, physical and mental health challenges for farmworkers in Oregon.

Professor Lynn Stephen, a Philip H. Knight Chair in anthropology and Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, helped lead the study and, specifically, the examination of farmworkers' mental health.” Read more (and link to article)

Read the full article on farmworkers during the pandemic

From Disposability to Collective Care: Experiences of Migrant Essential Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic by Lola Loustaunau, PhD candidate, Department of Sociology

“Under COVID-19, food processing workers have faced losing their jobs and their income or continuing working despite the risk. Those who got sick found that navigating the systems to access either company-specific relief or public assistance was complex and that the personnel in charge of aiding them also lacked key information to help them properly.”

Read the full article on the experiences of migrant workers during the pandemic


Two workers sorting apples on a conveyor belt


Campus Support Systems

”The Latinx Strategy Group (LSG) is an emerging alliance of faculty, staff, students, and community members collaborating to improve educational access and equity among Latin@ students at UO and in the local area.”

Anna Nguyen recently interviewed members of the various campus strategies groups, including the LSG.


Latinx Strategies Group

Excerpt from the interview:

What would you like people to know about the Latinx Strategies Group?

We would like people to know that the work of empowering our communities on campus, as the Latinx Strategies Group (LSG), is an extension of over 500 years of cultural survival. In 1521, Spanish forces captured the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The impacts of colonization were hemispheric and forever changed what we now call the “Americas.” What has been on many of our members’ minds, during the COVID-19 pandemic, is that in 1521 Indigenous peoples faced diseases in a pandemic throughout their lands. This has been at the forefront of our thoughts because 500 years later we are navigating life in a new pandemic. We are balancing remote work and supporting our students who have been heavily impacted by COVID.

Read the full interview




San Jose artwork

Comunidad de Latinx Scholars: “The Latinx (Latina/Latino) Academic Residential Community provides an opportunity for Latinx scholars to explore connections and build community; to be a part of a network of culturally sensitive faculty members, administrators, and fellow students; and find courses that support Latinx-themed studies or Latinx identity.”

CLLAS – Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies -  “…puts the study of Latino/a and Latin American communities in conversation with one another and with the state of Oregon. A knowledge center dedicated to public access and excellence through the integration of teaching, research, community engagement and dissemination.”


Two students studying

The College of Educations’ Spanish Specialization is designed to enhance preexisting linguistic and multicultural competencies, and increase cultural understanding of US Spanish-speaking populations.

Students learn to critically assess the unique social, historical, political, and cultural contexts that shape the experiences of Latinos in the United States.

Particular attention is given to conditions of social injustice and inequity, and how these conditions influence the health and well-being of Latinx Spanish-speaking communities although these are just a few of the many goals and competencies the program aims to deliver.

Dreamers logo

The university is committed to promoting the safety, well-being, and success of Dreamers while maintaining their confidentiality and identity. We use the term “Dreamers” to refer to those who are undocumented, participate in DACA, receive tuition equity, or from families with mixed immigration status.

Student immigration status greatly impacts the Latinx community, as well as other communities, most notably many Asian and Middle Eastern communities.

Connect to resources, legal support, scholarships, and emergency funding




Tiempo Suspendido | Suspended Time, an artwork by Myrna Báez and Norma Vila Rivero

Tiempo Suspendido | Suspended Time
By: Myrna Báez and Norma Vila Rivero

Jordan Schnitizer Museum of Art
August 14, 2021 to January 01, 2022

The work of Myrna Báez (Puerto Rican, 1931-2018) and Norma Vila Rivero (Puerto Rican, born 1982) is a poetic meditation on the relationship between figure and landscape in Puerto Rico, a place where identity and nature are closely connected.

Silkscreen and woodcut prints by Báez and new photographs by Vila Rivero present dramatic vistas charged with presence, absence, and memory. Images of stillness and solitude explore the psychological significance of the island’s natural environment and its imprint on the body


A painting by Myrna Báez and Norma Vila Rivero

Campus resources:


Community Resources:



Latinx Studies/Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies
See a full list and further informationhere.

Term Instructor Course

Fall 2021ES 254

Laura Pulido Intro to Chicanx and Latinx Studies
Fall 2021ES 621 Ernesto Javier Martínez Queer Latinx Literature/Culture

Spring 2022ES 254

Ernesto Javier Martínez Intro to Chicanx and Latinx Studies

Latin American Studies Fall 2021
See a full list and further information

Term Course
LAS 400M Indigenous Wm/Latin Am
SPAN 343 Hispanic Cul Lit III
SPAN 344 Hispanic Cul Lit IV
HIST 380 Latin America
ANTH 329 Immigrat & Farmworkers
ANTH 400M Indigenous Wm/Latin Am
ENG 243 Int Chicano/Latino Lit
HIST 248 Latinos in Americas
HIST 380 Latin America
HIST 383 Soccer & Soci Latin Am
HIST 407 Sem Cold War Lat Amer
HIST 483 Top Sex & Honor Lat Am
MUS 394 Top Latin Jazz Ensembl
SPAN 218 Latino Heritage I
SPAN 301 Identidades Hispanas
SPAN 303 Expresiones Artisticas
SPAN 305 Cambios Sociales
SPAN 308 Comunidades Bilingues
SPAN 312 Spanish in the Media
SPAN 407 Sem Caribbean Crossings