Latino Roots Update: Spring 2016

It has been a busy spring for Latino Roots! Since our last update, the panels traveled to Eugene 4J Awbrey Park Elementary School, where they were installed for 2 ½ months and central to two events: a Latino Parents Night, and a Multi-cultural Night. Panels were installed in the cafeteria as well as the main office, and were well received by the campus community.

In February, the panels traveled to the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators Conference (OALA), hosted this year at Portland State University. The mission of OALA is to “create a vehicle to support and mentor Latino Administrators as well Latino educators who aspire to become administrators in the State of Oregon.”

In addition to installing the panels in the main entryway, our project coordinator was present to hand out flyers, booklets, and answer questions.

perez_webIn March, the Latino Roots Panels were on display at Eugene 4J Kelly Middle School’s annual Benito Juarez Celebration. Pictured here are José Luis Sámano and Ema Pérez in front of their panel with family members. The event is a well-attended celebration with food, music, and a community vibe. After the event, the panels were installed throughout the school where they are viewable by the school community throughout the school week, and will remain in place for several more weeks. Half of the panels are installed near the Spanish block classrooms, where immersion teachers are working with students to engage the panels.

A partial installation of the Latino Roots Panels also continues to travel with Oportunidades coordinator Antonio Huerta. So far this year, the panels have been seen by over 450 students in Salem, Portland, and Woodburn.

In addition to traveling the panels, our Latino Roots Project Coordinator has been tabling at many events, and is beginning to meet with groups to talk about the project. In March, our coordinator was invited to speak in a Qualitative Methods class at the University of Oregon about the project, sharing both the message and the importance of the method. In late April she will meet with GANAS Leadership Students at Kelly Middle School to facilitate a conversation about the information in the panels.

Finally, the Latino Roots Panels themselves have been viewed by well over 50,000 people throughout the state, and are showing significant wear and tear. As a result, we are in the process of preparing them for reprint by the end of this academic year. The new panels will be printed on a canvas banner, and we will be adding new panels using information from the Latino Roots Archives, housed in Special Collections at the University of Oregon.

To book the panels, provide feedback, or brainstorm ideas about how you or your organization can utilize the project, please contact Latino Roots Project Coordinator Tamara LeRoy at

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

Latino Roots Panels on Display

The Latino Roots in Oregon panels are on display at Springfield High School during the months of October–December 2011. These fifteen portable wooden panels contain photographs and stories about seven immigrant families, which are bilingual in Spanish and English.

The panels were on display for more than a year at the Lane County Historical Museum (January 2009 through March 2010), and were part of the exhibit “Changing Demographics: The People of Lane County.” The Latino Roots panels feature a timeline of Latino presence in what is now the state of Oregon beginning in the 1700s, maps, demographic information, information about Latino youth, and the stories of seven families who came at different times to Lane County from California, Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Chile. A research team led by CLLAS director Lynn Stephen (Anthropology, Ethnic Studies) created the panels. The team included Gabriela Martínez, Patricia Cortez, Guadalupe Quinn, Mauricio Magaña, Sonia de la Cruz, Kate Williams, Lukacs Nguyen, and Magali Morales.

The Latino Roots Project is administered through the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) and is a part of the “Americas in a Globalized World: Linking Diversity and Internationalization” big idea at the University of Oregon. Selco Community Credit Union is the community sponsor.

For further information on the project please write to