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Latino Daily News

Friday April 13, 2012

Latino Roots at Yale

Latino Roots at Yale

Photo: Latinos at Yale

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A new exhibit opened Monday at Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library depicting the historical growth of Latinos on campus since the 1960s.  The exhibit, originally conceived as collaboration between the university library and Yale’s Latino Cultural Center, features historical documents which display the struggle of Latinos at the Ivy League University. 

Rosalinda Garcia, La Casa’s cultural director and assistant dean of Yale College, described the exhibit as allowing the Latino community to share their story with others.  According to Garcia the exhibit depicts a “story that is unfinished, but worth telling.  It’s crucial that our students know how hard their predecessors worked to secure all of the resources we have today.” 

Students and librarians have been working diligently on the preparation of the exhibit since November of 2010.  Kerri Sancomb, the exhibit’s preparator in the preservation department of the library devoted numerous hours to selecting historical information to include in the exhibit.  According to Garcia, Sancomb, “spent countless hours going through bins and bins of historical documents, trying to identify items to include.”  Students, such as Daniel Pizarro ART ’12, also participated in the creation of the exhibit.  “The exhibit was an opportunity for me to engage in cultural research, one that particularly inspired me due to its activist roots and provoked me to rethink my role as a student.”

Other students were equally inspired by the exhibit’s message.  Jessica Tordoff ’15, a non Latina, believes that the display “places the Latinos’ struggle into a broader context.”  A Latino student, Paulo Costa ’14 said that the exhibit should hopefully encourage the Yale administration to hire more Latino faculty. 

The exhibit itself focuses slightly more heavily on the 1970s after many documents from the 1980s and 1990s were missing from La Casa’s archives.  Garcia hopes that students and alumni will be inspired to acquire the missing information and donate it to the exhibit. 

According to the exhibit, in 1968 there were less than 10 Latino students at Yale University.  At the beginning of the 21st century, more than 20 graduate and undergraduate Latino groups were created on campus.  The exhibit will be on display until June.