Who We Are
Latino Studies is a powerhouse of Latino thought and advocacy at The University of Texas at Austin, fearlessly upholding the mission of ethnic studies by creating space to explore and understand the lives of Latinos in the U.S while using our knowledge and resources to support Latino communities everywhere. Since 1970, we've grown from a student initiative calling for courses on Mexican American topics to a substantial organization of recognized stature encompassing three program units: the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS), the department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (MALS), and the Latino Research Institute. Together we are fiercely committed to the empowerment of students, scholars, and communities for the purpose of realizing a just and affirmative future for all.
What We're Fundraising For
Support Opportunities like unpaid internships can open countless professional doors for college graduates, but are simply not a viable option for low-income students, many of whom continue to financially support family members back home. The department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies seeks to establish two one-year, post-undergraduate internships to financially sustain students in this situation who are seeking professional, entry-level experience.
La Tiendita Student Pantry
As a way of addressing food insecurity among low-income student populations, this donation-based resource pantry located in the Latino Studies student lounge serves to help students who deserve an education that is unburdened by the struggle to meet basic human needs. The open pantry is stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, household cleaning products, and more.
Student Summer Fellowships
The Latino Research Institute recruits undergraduate research assistants who are interested in community advocacy and Latino health and wellness to assist with various grant-funded projects in the community and around central and South Texas. From interviewing families who have been detained along the border to surveying rural communities regarding healthy food habits, these research projects allow students to translate their studies into real impact. These funds will ensure the Institute's continued ability to recruit during the summer, when help is most needed.
To our majors as well as Latinx students around campus, Latino Studies is more than just an academic department. Here's what students have to say about what Latino Studies at UT means to them:
"Latino Studies is my home away from home. The friends, connections I have made truly changed my UT experience and I am so grateful for that."
"Latino Studies has opened up new doors for me and created an environment that makes me feel welcomed. The people I have met, the friends I have made, and the words shared by professors have made my experience at UT so much more memorable."
"Having Latino Studies here at UT means I get to recognize my Latinidad and my pride in my culture in the midst of all this white space. I can embrace traditions with people who look and speak like me and have the opportunity to seguir hablando español without a confused face looking at me."
"I think that in a world where families are split by a wall, Latino Studies can help us overcome that wall and get to know each other more."
"Latino Studies to me was that first step to truly finding my complete identity. I took one class in bilingualism and was hooked! Being a part of MALS and Latino Studies is also a way to just LEARN about me, my culture, and how its a part of the space of UT. A proud double major (MALS and Government)."
"Latino Studies is a place where I feel safe, I feel like I belong. Es un rinconsito donde puedo aprender y ser feliz, being my true self. ❤️ My home away from home."
"Latino Studies means community, amazing food, a family away from home and people like me."
"Latino Studies means learning and getting in touch with my identity. It also means not losing touch with where I come from and everything I had already established."
"Latino Studies helps me acknowledge that I belong here at a top tier university. They support that I have a place."