Chicano and Latin American Studies

The Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies was created amidst the changing social structure of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The Department emerged as a result of activism, changing demographics, and student demands for a more inclusive and socially just educational curriculum. Throughout the Department’s development from a La Raza Program to a Chicano-Latino Studies program, to today’s Chicano and Latin American Studies, the Department and its faculty maintains its commitment to advocating for a critically conscious, anti-sexist, and anti-racist education for our students.

Chicano and Latin American Studies (CLAS) is an interdisciplinary department that has been successful in presenting a highly informed, active, and challenging view of the Chican@/Latin@ experience in the United States, of U.S./Latin American relations, and of Latin America. Chicano and Latin American Studies provides an opportunity for a pluralistic exchange of ideas in an interdisciplinary academic setting, where faculty, students, and visiting Chican@ and Latin American scholars can share experiences and create a dynamic intellectual environment.

The Department has a threefold mission: to empower our students with the tools to critically examine the histories, experiences, and lived realities of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin Americans; to promote an understanding and appreciation for the diversity and crossing of borders of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin American societies, histories, and culture through community events and outreach; and to produce scholarship and an intellectual exchange of ideas that promote the socioeconomic and political advancement of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin Americans, and that demystify U.S./Latin American relations.

DEPARTMENT STATEMENT: The Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University, Fresno remains firmly committed to the principle of social justice for all people, and as such, we denounce, challenge, and condemn white supremacy and forms of violence that threaten our communities.   

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