Established in 1985 as the Center for Hispanic Research (during the nationally celebrated "Decade of the Hispanic"), this center was created to foment collaborations between the university and Chicago's diverse Latino communities. Relocated three years later to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, a new faculty director renamed it the Center for Latino Research, and launched the original Latino Studies journal in 1990. In 1998, a third faculty director established Diálogo, a full-color journal on Latin American and U.S. Latino issues and creative work, published annually, and launched an extensive Oral Histories project to conduct interviews with prominent Latina/o community leaders.
At the same time, an annual celebratory banquet for Latina/o graduating students was organized, recently commemorating 20 years of continuous existence. In 2003, the CLR inaugurated its Faculty Fellows Program providing short-term periods for DePaul faculty to conduct new research on U.S. Latino, Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean issues and populations. CLR Fellows have pursued a broad range of projects in the fields of sociology, anthropology, history, art, film and media, literature, and education.
During the Center's 25th anniversary celebrations, plans were made for journal expansion to refereed and biannual presentation, and to increase visibility and reach. Geared to special themes in cutting-edge scholarship and research briefs, the journal added interviews and book/film reviews, and continued a short section of creative work. New scholarship has enriched the pages of Diálogo since volume 15, and in 2016 the journal became accessible through the Project Muse database. Older issues are available now in open access through DePaul Library's Via Sapientiae platform.
Just ahead of festivities for the Center's 30th anniversary, the journal was selected for the 2015 Phoenix Award for editorial transformation, awarded by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in December each year. The CLR continues to thrive, developing new community-oriented collaborations, expanding its programming and conducting researchprojects of hemispheric value.