This event is supported by the Chancellor's Call to Action to Address Racism and Social Injustice Research Program 2022-23. It is part of the project titled "Promoting Indigenous Andean Heritage within the Latino Population: Creating a Community of Practice for Learning Quechua Language and Culture," led by Carlos Molina-Vital (College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, CLACS), Marilyn Manley (Rowan University, NJ), and Alana DeLoge (University of Pittsburgh, PA).
Promoting Indigenous Andean Heritage within the Latino Population: Creating a Community of Practice for Learning Quechua Language and Culture is a project addressing the Societal Impact focus area of the Call to Action Research Program. It aims to strengthen the identities of Latinos who suffer social injustice by including and representing their Indigenous Andean heritage. Both within Illinois and in the United States today in general, Spanish-speakers form the largest minority group, and there is significant diversity, including members of mixed Hispanic and Indigenous ancestry. We believe that people of Quechua origin, the most widely-spoken Indigenous language in the Americas, will be interested in finding ways to reclaim and (re)connect with their Andean heritage. Within the Latino population, Indigenous identities like Quechua are often overlooked, when not fully erased in oversimplifications of ethnic identity. More specifically, we want to provide a means for Latinos of Andean (Peruvian and Bolivian) ancestry to connect through their shared Indigenous origins, cultural practices, and linguistic background. We propose to create and promote virtual and physical spaces for interaction to create bonds that will strengthen and make visible a shared Andean identity for these Latino communities within Illinois and throughout the United States.