LLAS courses and programs offer critical insights into historical and contemporary constructions and deconstructions of race and racism across the Americas. This includes attention to systemic racism against black and indigenous people and cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean and within the US Latinx community.
Beyond addressing racism and bias, LLAS courses and programs help students learn about and celebrate the rich array of histories and cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States, reaching beyond nationalist celebrations of mestizaje to focus on the experiences of people of indigenous, African, and Asian heritage.
Proactive steps we are taking, or plan to undertake:
- Evaluating and revising our core LLAS 200 course to assure coverage of diverse communities, with particular attention to assuring we teach about the histories and experiences of people of African heritage.
- Assure that our students, majors, and thesis writers continue to reflect the ethnic, racial, and economic diversity of the student body.
- Evaluate and revise the coverage within the many courses that count toward the LLAS major, with particular attention to assuring that we teach about the histories and experiences of people of African heritage.
- Help Amherst College recruit and support a diverse student body.
- Help Amherst College recruit and support a diverse faculty.
- Document the experiences of Amherst Latinx alumni to add their stories the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, and support the dissemination of these stories and assuring their inclusion in all narratives of the Amherst College experience. This includes accounts of their experiences with racism and classism at Amherst and the labor of multiple generations of students toward helping Amherst College become a more diverse and inclusive community.
- Organize or co-sponsor speakers, workshops, and other activities for students, faculty, and staff.
- Support gatherings throughout the year of staff, students, and faculty who identify as Latinx or are interested in supporting or learning more about the Latinx community. This includes at least one large-scale gathering each year, plus a number of smaller gatherings.
- Support the study abroad in Latin America and the Caribbean, so that students can gain insight into experiences outside of the contiguous United States.
- Support Orientation for Incoming Students, including helping to organize a Spanish-language Q&A reception for families.
- Initiate meetings with students to learn their thoughts about what additional steps they might want to help LLAS take.
- Publicly celebrate the accomplishments of LLAS faculty and students.
- Help our students engage with local communities within our region, as well as in other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America.