Outreach and Engagement with the Hispanic/ Latino Community
The UST community engages with the local Hispanic/ Latino community in myriad ways. Following are some examples for opportunities to interact with this community:
- Academia Cesar Chavez opened in 2001 as an outgrowth of the 10-year-old Hispanic Pre-College Project at St. Thomas, and seeks to educate bilingual and bi-literate students by advocating Latino cultural values. St. Thomas’ Authorizing Program, housed in the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling, acts as the authorizer for this charter school by monitoring their academic and financial performance and organizational health. St. Thomas faculty and administrators serve on the Charter School Accountability Board, which meets monthly to review the schools’ performances. The school also has independent relationships with the Tutor-Mentor program and serves as a field experience site for students in the Teacher Education Program.
- Cristo Rey Jesuit High School-Twin Cities (CRJHSTC) is part of the nationwide Cristo Rey Network of 25 high schools that provide a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. UST undergraduates in COJO 111, Communication and Citizenship, have been working collaboratively since 2007 on a variety of social and academic projects with students at CRJHSTC. Approximately 100 COJO 111 students partner side-by-side each semester with approximately the same number of CRJHSTC 9th graders on common projects exploring issues such as immigration, prejudice and stereotyping, communicating effectively with diverse others, and finding voice in our lives and communities.
- The UST Latino Law Student Association collaborated with UST undergraduate students in the Latino Leadership Program to work with St. Stephen’s Catholic parish in a cross-cultural conflict resolution.
- USTImmigration Law Practice Group is a group within the UST inter-professional center that provides high quality legal services for immigrants and invaluable experience for St. Thomas law students who represent persons seeking asylum in the U.S., detained persons facing deportation, and clients in the areas of international trafficking, naturalization, domestic violence, and family reunification. Our law students also have advocated at the Minnesota state legislature for the past several years on issues affecting members of the Latino community, most notably in the 2013 session the Minnesota Dream Act (instate tuition for unauthorized immigrants) and the Driver’s License bill (which would have allowed DLs for unauthorized immigrants).
- Prevention and Intervention of Domestic Violence– Dr. Catherine Luz Marrs Fuchsel (School of Social Work), conducts research on the prevention and intervention of domestic violence among the Latino population, specifically among immigrant Mexican families who may be undocumented and the delivery of effective services among the Latino population. She has worked with Migrant Health Services Inc. in Rochester, MN and Centro, a social service agency working with Latino families in the Twin Cities. In addition, she is working with the Diocese of Winona to provide domestic violence prevention trainings and consultation services for pastoral staff.
- Central Minnesota Legal Services— “Innovative justice for those in need.” Provides civil legal services to low-income persons in 21 Central Minnesota counties.
- Comunidades Latinos Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) - CLUES enhances the quality of life of the Latino community in Minnesota as a leading provider of behavioral health and human services.
- El Colegio Charter School and Juventud Conectada- engages students in challenging, profound learning experiences in English and Spanish that integrate research-based teaching strategies with Latino culture and traditions.