DePaul University Global Engagement > Partnerships > Local Community Partners > Hispanic Initiatives

Hispanic Initiatives

Chicago's growing Hispanic/Latino community has a great impact and influence on the culture of the city, and attention to this community, its needs and aspirations is an integral part of DePaul's global engagement strategy. With a renewed commitment to the city of Chicago, Global Engagement – Latin America continues to be active in the local community through its Hispanic Initiatives project.

The project provides support to faculty and students working on initiatives related to the Hispanic/Latino community and works to increase DePaul's collaboration with universities and organizations in Latin America that are dedicated to promoting higher education.

The Hispanic Initiatives project organizes, promotes, and is involved in several initiatives throughout the year:

Transnational Communities Conference

This conference is held every year in May and focuses on the interconnectivity between Latin America and the U.S. in aspects such as education, politics, human mobility, economics and  culture,  how the constant mobility gives rise to new faces of the Latino community in this country. The conference is a collaboration between DePaul’s Department of Modern Languages and Universidad Nicolaita de Michoacan, Mexico. 

Every year the conference engages major research institutions from Latin America, such as UNAM Mexico, CISAN, Colegio de Mexico, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru, Universidad Iberoamericana, and Universidad Xaveriana de Colombia.

Pasos al Futuro

This is a project, funded by the Mc Cormick Foundation, that focuses on creating awareness and appreciation of Latino cultures in the U.S., grounded in history, communication, culture, performance, and sociology. Every year we collaborate with faculty from College of Communication in the organization of the Symposium in Latino Media and Communication and the Pasos al Futuro Summer Workshop.

Both, the symposium and the summer workshop are possible thanks to the connection that we have developed with Chicagoland high schools with a large concentration of  Latino population and Univision, Telemundo, ABC  and other important  media outlets in the city.

The Symposium brings high school students to DePaul campus, and exposes them to how journalism and media creation is approached at DePaul.

The two-week summer workshop, provides high school students with the opportunity to develop technical and critical thinking skills, assess credible news sources and learn the importance of journalism as the voice of their own community. 

Latino Film Festival

In order to increase the awareness of Latin America culture among our student population, every year we sponsor and actively participate in the Latino Film Festival.  Over 100 long and short films are screened; some of DePaul’s faculty members bring their students to the screenings, incorporating the festival in their curricula.

 Through the student section of the Festival, our students also have the opportunity to present their own productions and learn about the great diversity of themes and genres of filmmaking in other Universities in Latin America. 

Poetry in April

Learning a second language or maintaining the heritage language and culture is important for students. Through the Poetry Festival “Poesia en Abril” our students are exposed to different literary genres and the work of poets from different countries in Latin America. Poesia en Abril is held every year in collaboration with Contratiempo, an important cultural organization in Chicago. Through panel discussions, open mics, lectures and poetry presentations in various venues around the city, the festival is geared to cultivate an appreciation for poetry in Spanish while encouraging students to participate with original pieces and performances.

Hablemos de Latino America

The close collaboration with the diplomatic community of Chicago has played an important role in the internationalization of the campus, consuls, cultural and business attaches contribute to the education of our students in several forms. In order to promote broader awareness of Latin America culture and working with embassies and consulates of the region, we have created the “Hablemos de Latino America” week. This is a space to connect our students with representatives of Latin America countries to discuss important aspects such as immigration, technology, scientifically advances and trade interactions. Our students receive information from direct sources incorporating this learning experience to their global education, fostering critical thinking and open-mindedness. 

International Research Collaboration

Research funding and attracting students into research field is challenging  but  necessary to compete in a global environment.  Through our partnerships with consulates, local organizations and Institutions in Latin America such as UNAM  and TEC de Monterrey and PUC Peru and others   we have developed  research projects that addresses the needs of the Latino Community in the City.  Working with faculty and scholars from these institutions our students learn the nuances of  international research, such as facing different forms  and requirements for protecting human subject,  transmitting information, planning financial and costs, manage a project, etc.

For More Information

If you’re interested in being a part of any of these initiatives, or have ideas for other possible ways to engage with local community partners, please contact Esther Quintero-Guzman, associate director of regional initiatives for Latin America.