College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > Center for Latino Research > About > History


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 research projects of hemispheric value.

  • Inaugurating Director, Center for Hispanic Research, business professor Armando Triana (1985-1988)
  • Second Director, sociologist Felix Padilla (1988-1992)
  • Name change to Center for Latino Research (CLR)
  • The CLR is a founding partner in the Midwest Consortium for Latino Research, 1988-1999
  • Third Director, historian Felix Masud-Piloto (1992-2009)
  • Informacion Latina (community newsletter/magazine) published, 1992-1997
  • By student initiative, the DePaul Cultural Center is launched, 1994
  • Oral Histories project, Chicago Young Lords, begun
  • Prominent speakers include recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, and labor rights activists Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez
  • Ford Foundation Latino Leadership Opportunity Program grants ($188,000 over six years)
  • Latino Studies Visiting Scholars/Professors series in collaboration with Egan Urban Center, 1994-1999
  • Collaboration forged with Latin American Studes Program (LST), Juana Goergen/Rose Spalding, co-directors
  • The journal Dialogo launched in 1997
  • By student initiative, the annual Latino Graduation Banquet was launched in 1997
  • Oral Histories project, Latino Homelessness with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 1997-1998
  • Community partnerships forged with Pilsen Alliance, Casa Michoacan, Universidad Popular
  • Oral Histories project Mexican-Chicago begun with Casa Aztlan, by history professor Juan Mora-Torres
  • LST launches Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Writer-in-Residence position, 2000
  • CLR Faculty Fellows program instituted, 2003
  • Move to new office suite, shared by CLR and LST
  • Oral Histories project Chicago Young Lords completed, archived at DePaul Libraries
  • Partnership with DePaul Steans Center for annual Cesar Chavez Service Day
  • Major conference, Struggles for Social Justice & Equality in U.S. and Latin America
  • Co-sponsor, theatrical play, El Bloque: A Yound Lords Story, by Jacqui Lazu
  • Co-sponsor, musical play, Gracias Rafael, tribute to major Puerto Rican composer
  • Oral Histories project Immigration March of 2006 and 2008
  • Fundraiser, Casa Juan Diego in Pilsen
  • Fundraisers for Contratiempo community newspaper, 2004/2005
  • Poetry Festival launched in partnership with Contratiempo, 2008
  • Fourth Director (Interim), Latin American and Latino Studies professor Lourdes Torres (2009-2010)
  • Oral Histories project Mirta Ramirez Papers completed, archived at DePaul Libraries
  • Latino Breakfast, September 15th, launched in co-sponsorship with DePaul InterCultural Center, 2009
  • Poet and Activist, Luz Maria Umpierre's personal papers donated, archived at DePaul Libraries
  • Fifth Director, Latin American and Latino Studies professor Elizabeth C. Martinez (2010-2019)
  • Annual Forum, Current Issues in Latino USA launched, 2011