Latino/a History and Culture in the Community College Classroom
On May 8, 2015 our Bridging Historias through Latino History and Culture: An NEH Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges Project concluded with a full-day conference at The Graduate Center, CUNY. More than one hundred educators from colleges, libraries, high schools, and public institutions across the region attended the panels, workshops, poster displays, and keynote speech. The conference opened with a plenary panel entitled “Infusing Latino/a Content into the Curriculum—the Big Picture” that explored the broad institutional context for implementing Latino Studies at community colleges, reviewed Latino enrollment in higher education, provided examples of innovative configurations, and discussed the impact of Latino Studies on Latino and non-Latino student populations. Following the opening panel, Bridging Historias faculty and administrators presented the curricular work they developed during the two-year program in six panel presentations, three workshops, and six poster displays/discussions. The day closed with a keynote talk, "Why Latino History Matters," by Vicki Ruiz, University of California, Irvine, professor and president of the American Historical Association, who offered an overview of the field of Latino history and connected it to larger themes, debates, and sources in U.S. history.