Latino Roots Update: Winter 2016

Since our spring 2015 update, the Latino Roots traveling display has been to Medford, Cottage Grove, Salem, Eugene, and Springfield, reaching over 50,000 people in viewership since the project began in 2010. Although CLLAS is closed during summer months, we were also able to coordinate several hosting opportunities through volunteer efforts. One set of panels circulated in Salem throughout the summer, and the other set stayed in the Eugene/ Springfield area and circulated for short-term events such as art walks and festivals.

At South Medford High School, where the display was hosted for over two months, feedback from administration indicated that engagement with the project was high, and the display was well received by students, administration, and the community on the whole. SMHS has a student population of approximately 1,800 students, with activities every weekend bringing hundreds of family and community members for plays, concerts, and sporting events. Leadership students at South Medford High School arranged the panels in the school’s grand entry as a self-guided tour.

Another example of the impact the Latino Roots traveling display has comes from a teacher at an elementary school where the panels were housed, who said: “I didn’t get any of that history until I got to college. I felt cheated out of knowing really phenomenal people because my textbooks didn’t reflect it, and my teachers didn’t go the extra mile to educate us. The panels give everyone a sense that we are all part of the present, the past, and the future. And it’s about the people that live in the same community as I do.”

Eugene’s Awbrey Park Elementary School is hosting a full set of panels through late January to complement the school’s Latino Parent Night and a multicultural night. A partial display is circulating with the UO Opportunities Program (

In response to increased community interest and engagement, CLLAS will draw on funds donated by SELCO Community Credit Union to create a new set of lightweight traveling panels, intended for short-term installation at community events such as art walks, health fairs, celebrations, lectures, and more. Additionally, CLLAS plans to use the Latino Roots Digital Archives, housed at the UO, to create several new panels. Currently, CLLAS staff is analyzing the archival materials created by three generations of the Latino Roots class (2011, 2013, 2015) for potential content. By connecting the traveling display with the Latino Roots class and Digital Archives, the Latino Roots Project is able to serve as an educational tool for institutions and communities throughout Oregon.

If you would like to book our traveling display for your organization, or for more information about the project, please contact Latino Roots Project Coordinator, Tamara LeRoy, at (541) 346-5286 or


—reported by Tamara LeRoy