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November 20, 2012
Photo by Laura Hancock / La Familia Club members from left, Jaevis Johnson, Ramiro Villegas and Elisabet Villegas found inspiration in the Latino Roots Project and the exhibit currently on display in Hoke.
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – A unique opportunity to learn more about the heritage of Latinos in Oregon is at EOU through the end of fall term in the form of a traveling exhibit.
The 15-panel display tells the stories of seven different families that immigrated to Oregon – some as early as the 1700’s – with photography and text researched and compiled by University of Oregon students of their own ancestors.
“We want to bring diversity education to our events and make connections to Oregon history whenever possible,” said Bennie Moses, coordinator of Multicultural Affairs at EOU.
Moses worked with the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies program at UO to bring the display to campus. While the families featured are from the Lane County area, a documentary has also been produced and it focuses on Latino heritage throughout the state. The film is available to check-out from the Multicultural Center.
“It’s really interesting the students were able to trace their roots so far back,” said Elisabet Villegas, a sophomore from Boardman and president of the La Familia Club at EOU. “I would be very proud of my family if I could do a project like this.”
Other members of La Familia involved with setting up the exhibit are Jaevis Johnson, a sophomore from Reno, and Elisabet’s brother Ramiro Villegas, a junior. With approximately 26 students currently in the club, officers are eager to see the group continue to grow.
“Latinos are the largest minority group on campus,” Moses said. “Collaborating with UO on this exhibit helped our students reach out and draw on new resources, determine goals of the program and increase awareness.”
View the Latino Roots In Oregon exhibit through Dec. 7 in the Hoke Union Building main lounge.
The Latino Roots Project is part of the “Americas in a Globalized World: Linking Diversity and Internationalization” at UO.
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