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Smithsonian Latino Center

Smithsonian Staff

The Smithsonian Latino Center is the corazón of Latinidad at the Smithsonian. It works toward preserving Latino history and culture, engaging Latino communities, and advancing Latino representation in the United States. Since 1997, SLC has successfully ensured that the contributions of the Latino community are celebrated and represented throughout the Smithsonian.

The Center works collaboratively with Smithsonian museums and research centers, ensuring that the contributions of the Latino community in the arts, history, national culture and scientific achievement are explored, presented, celebrated and preserved. We support scholarly research, exhibitions, public and educational programs, web-based content and virtual platforms, and collections and archives. We also manage leadership and professional development programs for Latino youth, emerging scholars and museum professionals.

Smithsonian Latino Center's collections

 

Latinas Talk Latinas: Selena, Crossing Over Cultural Boundaries

<p>This Learning Lab is designed to accompany the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian's Latino Center's video <em>Latinas Talk Latinas: Selena, Crossing Over Cultural Boundaries. </em>This resource is meant to be experienced chronologically, starting with the second title. Learn more about the Smithsonian collections and additional resources on Selena. The goal is for users to 1) learn who Selena was  2) explore the assets on Selena across the Smithsonian Institution, and 3) understand why Selena is so important to Mexican-American women -- and the Latino community at large. </p> <p>Selena Quintanilla was a pioneering performer who started as a young girl within the Tejano music scene and eventually moved into several genres of Spanish-language music and crossed over into mainstream English-language music in the United States. This Learning Lab explores her legacy, across the United States and through the Smithsonian collections</p> <p>A note on the flowery aesthetic of the Lab: flowers hold a special significance for Selena and her fans. The Quintanilla family requested that everyone carry a single white rose to Selena's funeral because it was Selena's favorite flower. The flowers in the titles are also a nod to one of Selena y Los Dinos' greatest hits, "Como la Flor."</p>
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Álida Ortiz Sotomayor, Latinas Talk Latinas

<p style="text-align: center;">This resource is designed to accompany the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's and the Smithsonian's Latino Center's video <em>Latinas Talk Latinas, Álida Ortiz-Sotomayor: The Love for Teaching Natural Sciences.</em> After watching the video, which is located in the second tile of this collection, please return to this page to learn more about the assets we have in our digital collection as well as additional resources that will help you further explore the topics and themes presented in the video.</p> <p>Álida Ortiz Sotomayor was the first Puerto Rican woman to obtain a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez in 1976. She was one of the founders and the first Director of the Coastal Marine Biology Program from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao and developed the first Earth Sciences curriculum for the Public Schools of Puerto Rico and has trained hundreds of teachers in Marine Education. </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><br></p>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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Art for Social Change: Conversations on Protest and the Voting Rights Act

<p style="text-align: center;">"The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it."</p> <p style="text-align: center;">- Rep. John Lewis, 2020</p> <p>The right to vote in the United States has a complicated history. Up until 1870, only white property-owning men could vote. U.S. democracy looked different during its first 100 years. It was based on racial, gender, and economic privilege. It also was reinforced by the institution of race-based chattel slavery. Since the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, African Americans continued to fight for full rights of citizenship. This includes the right to vote. The 15th Amendment declares that states could not deny the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified in 1870. However, many state governments passed laws to keep African Americans from voting. They included tactics like poll taxes and literacy tests. This was to get around the 15th Amendment’s ban on race-based voting laws. Other tactics included fraud and intimidation.</p> <p>These same tactics disenfranchised Latino communities in different parts of the country. Pioneering organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), founded in 1929, fought for Mexican American civil rights, including enfranchisement. Puerto Ricans living on the mainland have fought for representation since before 1900. The first court case on Puerto Rican voting took place in New York in 1899. Organizations like the Legion of Voters and National Association for Puerto Rican Civil Rights advocated against voter discrimination in the 1960s.</p> <p>African Americans, Latinas/os/xs, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and others have protested to raise awareness about voter suppression. A protest is a way for people to share their beliefs about a person, place, thing, or idea. People can share those beliefs through a statement or action. Public marches and rallies are examples of protests. Writing letters, singing songs, refusing to eat, or using violence are other types of protest. Through protest and advocacy, women and communities of color have been able to secure voting rights. This opens the door to elect officials that represent the communities they serve. </p> <p>Together, we will explore the Voting Rights Act and some of its later amendments. We will also look at the Supreme Court Case Shelby County Alabama v. Holder. We will examine how this legislation and court decisions directly impact communities of color and their right to the ballot. We will briefly look at how our vote helps elect officials at various levels, including the presidency.</p> <p>This Learning Lab features art, videos, photographs, and protest signs. It also has thinking routines from the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero. They will help create conversations around the pictures or protest banners found in this collection. Worksheets from the Smithsonian Latino Center's <em>Cultural Expressions: Art for Social Change</em> can be found at the end of this collection. They are available for elementary, middle school, and high school students. Caregivers or teachers can use the questions found within the activities to create responsive social change protest signs and art. </p>
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Latinas Talk Latinas, Ellen Ochoa

<p style="text-align: center;">This resource is designed to accompany the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's and the Smithsonian's Latino Center's video <em>Latinas Talk Latinas, Ellen Ochoa: Beyond the Barrier.</em> After watching the video, which is located in the second tile of this collection, please return to this page to learn more about the assets we have in our digital collection as well as additional resources that will help you further explore the topics and themes presented in the video.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Ellen Ochoa was the first Latina astronaut</em> in space and <em>first Latina, only the second woman, </em><em>to serve as the Director of the</em> <em>Johnson Space Center</em><em>, responsible</em> <em>for</em> all astro<em>naut activities for NASA. Find out how this daring and tenacious Latina </em><em>went beyond the barrier and set new heights for young girls to reach for the stars. </em> </p>
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Arte para el cambio social: Conversaciones sobre las protestas y la Ley del Derecho al Voto

<p style="text-align: center;">“El voto es el agente de cambio no violento más poderoso que tenemos en una sociedad democrática. Debemos usarlo porque no está garantizado. Hasta podríamos perderlo”. </p> <p style="text-align: center;">– Rep. John Lewis, 2020</p> <p>La historia del derecho al voto en los Estados Unidos es compleja. Hasta 1870, solo los hombres blancos y dueños de propiedades podían votar. En sus primeros 100 años, la democracia estadounidense era muy distinta a la de hoy. Se fundamentaba en privilegios económicos, raciales y de género, reforzados por la institución de la esclavitud basada en la raza. Los afroamericanos no han dejado de luchar por sus plenos derechos como ciudadanos, que incluyen el derecho al voto. En la 15.a enmienda de la Constitución se afirma que los estados no pueden negar el derecho al voto "por motivos de raza, color o condición previa de servidumbre". Esta enmienda fue ratificada en 1870. Sin embargo, muchos gobiernos estatales aprobaron leyes para impedir que los afroamericanos votaran; para ello, usaron diversas tácticas como los impuestos al voto y las pruebas de que una persona sabía leer y escribir. Estas medidas buscaban eludir lo estipulado en la 15.a enmienda que prohibía la aplicación de leyes electorales basadas en la raza. Otras estrategias eran el fraude y la intimidación.</p> <p>Estas mismas tácticas privaron de derechos a las comunidades latinas en diferentes regiones del país. Varias organizaciones pioneras, como la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC, por su sigla en inglés), fundada en 1929, lucharon por los derechos civiles de los mexicanos americanos, incluido el derecho al voto. Aun antes del comienzo del siglo XX, los puertorriqueños residentes en el continente han luchado por tener representación en el Congreso. En Nueva York, en 1899, tuvo lugar el primer juicio relativo al voto de los puertorriqueños. En la década de 1960, algunas organizaciones, como la Legión de Votantes y la Asociación Nacional de Derechos Civiles Puertorriqueños, lucharon  contra la discriminación electoral.</p> <p>Los afroamericanos, los latinos/as/xs, los indios americanos, los asiáticos americanos y los miembros de otras comunidades han organizado protestas para crear conciencia acerca de la supresión del voto. Una protesta es una manera de que las personas expresen sus creencias acerca de una persona, lugar, cosa o idea. Las personas pueden manifestar esas creencias por medio de una declaración o una acción. Las marchas públicas y los mítines son ejemplos de protestas. Escribir cartas, cantar, negarse a comer o usar la violencia son otros tipos de protesta. Mediante las protestas y la promoción de su causa, las mujeres y las comunidades de color han podido lograr su derecho al voto. El voto permite elegir a funcionarios que representen a las comunidades a las que sirven.</p> <p>Ahora, analicemos juntos la Ley del Derecho al Voto y algunas de sus enmiendas subsiguientes. Además,  veremos el juicio presentado ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, cuyas partes litigantes eran el Condado Shelby de Alabama y Holder. Veremos de qué manera esta ley y las decisiones de los tribunales afectan directamente a las comunidades de color y su derecho al voto. Le daremos una mirada breve a cómo contribuye nuestro voto a la elección de funcionarios a distintos niveles, incluso del presidente.</p> <p>En este laboratorio de aprendizaje se presentan obras de arte, videos, fotografías y signos de protesta. Tiene también rutinas de pensamiento del <em>Project Zero</em> de la Escuela de Posgrado en Educación de Harvard. Estas nos ayudarán a conversar en torno a las imágenes o pancartas de protesta que se encuentran en la colección. Las hojas de actividades del Centro Latino Smithsonian <em>Expresiones culturales: arte para el cambio social</em> se encuentran al final de esta colección. Están adaptadas para alumnos de la escuela primaria, intermedia y secundaria. El personal de atención al público o los maestros pueden usar las preguntas de las actividades para crear afiches de protesta y obras de arte a favor del cambio social. </p> <p></p>
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Jessica Govea, Latinas Talk Latinas

<p>This resource is designed to accompany the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's and the Smithsonian's Latino Center's video <em>Latinas Talk Latinas, Jessica Govea: From Girlhood to Inspiring a Movement</em>. After watching the video, which is located in the second tile of this collection, please return to this page to learn more about the assets we have in our digital collection as well as additional resources that will help you further explore the topics and themes presented in the video.<em></em><br></p> <p>Jessica Govea was a labor leader and organizer who started at a very young age. She began working alongside César Chávez in the Community Service Organization and was later instrumental in the founding of the United Farm Workers union, extending her organizing power to Canada.</p>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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Sylvia Rivera, Latinas on Latinas

<p>This resource is designed to accompany the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's and the Smithsonian's Latino Center's video <em>Latinas Talk Latinas, Sylvia Rivera: Pushing Boundaries.</em> After watching the video, which is located in the second tile of this collection, please return to this page to learn more about the assets we have in our digital collection as well as additional resources that will help you further explore the topics and themes presented in the video.</p> <p>Sylvia Rivera was a transgender woman living in New York City during the '60s and '70s. She became a fierce defender of LGBTQ+ rights, pushing the movement in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots to vigilantly protect transgender people's rights.</p>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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Nuestra América: 30 latinas/latinos que han forjado la historia de los Estados Unidos

<p><em>Nuestra América</em> es una antología completamente ilustrada que ha preparado el Centro Latino Smithsonian. En ella se presentan las inspiradoras historias de treinta latinas y latinos y se celebran sus contribuciones a los Estados Unidos. Muchos de ellos enriquecieron las características culturales, sociales y políticas de la nación. </p> <p></p> <p>Gran parte de las historias recopiladas en este libro van a formar parte de la Galería latina de la familia Molina. Se trata de la primera galería nacional dedicada a los latinos en el Smithsonian.  El Centro Latino dirige este proyecto de galería. </p> <p></p> <p>Las historias de este Learning Lab se encuentran en las colecciones de los museos Smithsonian. Para que puedan verse fácilmente, se han agrupado por temas. </p> <p>¿Cuál es el contenido de una colección? Incluye objetos que una persona utilizó o llevó puestos. Algunos ejemplos son: artículos publicados, fotografías y videos. Estos objetos pueden variar desde una pelota de béisbol hasta una prenda de vestir. ¡Hasta podría ser un transbordador espacial! Los objetos ayudan a que los museos puedan narrar historias más completas. Además, los museos se ocupan de cuidar esos objetos. De esta manera, los futuros visitantes también podrán verlos.<br></p> <p>Cada tema incluye rutinas de exploración que provienen del Proyecto Cero de la Escuela de Graduados en Educación de la Universidad de Harvard. Estas preguntas pueden ayudar a iniciar conversaciones acerca de las historias y los objetos presentados. Este Learning Lab puede ser útil para los estudiantes de la escuela intermedia y de la escuela secundaria, en especial si están interesados en la cultura latina. También podría servir de apoyo en la preparación de un proyecto en español sobre las tradiciones familiares. Para ver una versión en inglés de este Learning Lab, haga clic <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/nuestra-america-30-inspiring-latinas-latinos-who-have-shaped-the-united-states/MakuDQIEBA5UsG2P#r/">aquí.</a><br></p> <p>Si desea más información acerca del libro, por favor visite:<br></p> <p><a href="https://latino.si.edu/es/nuestra-america">https://latino.si.edu/es/nuestra-america</a></p> <p>También puede ver una versión en inglés del libro. Favor de visitar:<br></p> <p><a href="https://latino.si.edu/nuestra-america">https://latino.si.edu/nuestra-america</a></p> <p><u>Los temas y las historias presentadas en este Learning Lab son:</u><br></p> <p> Derechos civiles y activismo</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li> César Chávez</li></ul> <ul><li>Dolores Huerta</li></ul> <ul><li>Sylvia Rivera </li></ul> <p> Empresarios</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li>C. David Molina</li></ul> <ul><li>La familia Unanue y Goya Foods</li></ul> <p> Moda y cultura popular</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li>Celia Cruz</li></ul> <ul><li>Óscar de la Renta </li></ul> <ul><li>Lin-Manuel Miranda</li></ul> <ul><li>Rita Moreno</li></ul> <p>Lectura y literatura</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li>Pura Belpré</li></ul> <ul><li>Julia de Burgos</li></ul> <ul><li>Sandra Cisneros</li></ul> <ul><li>Juan Felipe Herrera</li></ul> <p> Servicio público</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li>Jaime Escalante</li></ul> <ul><li>Sylvia Méndez</li></ul> <ul><li>Ellen Ochoa</li></ul> <ul><li>Sonia Sotomayor</li></ul> <p> Deportes</p> <ul></ul> <ul><li>Roberto Clemente</li></ul> <ul><li>Dara Torres</li></ul> <p></p>
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Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States

<p><em>Nuestra América</em> is a fully illustrated anthology from the Smithsonian Latino Center. It features the inspiring stories of thirty Latina/o/xs. It celebrates their contributions to the United States. Many are towards the nation’s cultural, social, and political character. </p> <p>Many of the stories in this book will be included in the Molina Family Latino Gallery. It is the first national gallery dedicated to Latina/o/xs at the Smithsonian. The Latino Center leads this gallery project. </p> <p>The stories in this Learning Lab are in the Smithsonian collections. They are grouped into themes for easier viewing. </p> <p>What is in a collection? It has objects that were used or worn by someone. Examples of objects include articles, photographs, artifacts, and videos. Objects can be anything from a baseball to a piece of clothing. It could even be a space shuttle! Objects help museums tell more complete stories. Museums also take care of objects. That way, future visitors can see them, too.</p> <p>Each theme includes thinking routines. They are from the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero. These questions can help create discussion around the stories and objects here. This Learning Lab can serve middle school and high school students. Especially if they are interested in Latino culture. It can help with a Spanish project exploring family traditions. </p> <p>For more information on the book, please visit:<a href="https://www.runningpress.com/titles/sabrina-vourvoulias/nuestra-am%c3%a9rica/9780762471751/"><br></a><a href="https://latino.si.edu/nuestra-america">https://latino.si.edu/nuestra-america</a><br></p> <p>An Spanish version of the book is also available. Please visit:<a href="https://www.runningpress.com/titles/sabrina-vourvoulias/nuestra-am%C2%BFrica/9780762497485/"><br></a><a href="https://latino.si.edu/es/nuestra-america">https://latino.si.edu/es/nuestra-america</a><u><br></u></p> <p><u>The themes and stories featured in this Learning Lab include:</u></p> <ul><li> Civil Rights and Activism <ul><li>César Chávez</li><li>Dolores Huerta</li><li>Sylvia Rivera</li></ul></li><li>Entrepreneurs<ul><li>C. David Molina</li><li>The Unanue Family and Goya Foods</li></ul></li><li>Fashion and Popular Culture<ul><li>Celia Cruz</li><li>Óscar de la Renta</li><li>Lin-Manuel Miranda</li><li>Rita Moreno</li></ul></li><li>Literacy and Literature<ul><li>Pura Belpré</li><li>Julia de Burgos</li><li>Sandra Cisneros</li><li>Juan Felipe Herrera</li></ul></li><li> Public Service<ul><li>Jaime Escalante</li><li>Sylvia Mendez</li><li>Ellen Ochoa</li><li>Sonia Sotomayor</li></ul></li><li>Sports<ul><li>Roberto Clemente</li><li>Dara Torres</li></ul></li></ul>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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Panamanian Passages | Pasajes Panameños

<p>This collection highlights the science, geography, cultural contributions, including those of native peoples of Panama, and the 20th century history of Panama. This includes the science and geography of the Isthmus, the Panama Canal, the U.S. in Panama and US expansionism and cross-cultural exchange. It will give students an opportunity to learn an overview of U.S. history in Latin America and Panamanian contributions to world history.  The collection includes bilingual (English and Spanish) activities for middle school and high school students including a scavenger hunt like worksheet and discussion questions for group conversations or individual essay statements that focus on historical inquiry-based learning. </p> <p>Esta colección bilingüe resalta la ciencia, la geografía y las contribuciones culturales, incluyendo las de comunidades indígenas y las de la historia del siglo 20, de Panamá. La colección incluye la ciencia y la geografía del istmo, el Canal de Panamá, el expansionismo estadounidense y los intercambios culturales entre ambos. Les dará a los estudiantes una oportunidad de aprender un resumen de la historia estadounidense en Latinoamérica y las contribuciones panameñas a la historia mundial. La colección incluye actividades bilingües para estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria incluyendo una hoja de ejercicios con un juego de tesoro y preguntas de discusión en grupo. También incluye preguntas para ensayos.</p> <p><br /></p>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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Cultural Expressions: Art for Social Change

<p>This collection features civic engagement, language arts, and visual arts activities using posters from the Division of Community Education of Puerto Rico (DIVEDCO). This Puerto Rican Poster Art was inspired by works created during Works Progress Administration (WPA). Scaled bilingual activities for grades 2-5, 6-8, and 9-12.</p>
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Cultural Expressions: Spoken Connections and Poetry

<p>This collection features the Spoken Connections Workshop along with four Smithsonian Latino Center programs celebrating Latino poetry and spoken word. This collection is for middle school and high school students, along with life-long learners, with an interest exploring world cultures, language arts, and creative writing. </p> <p>This workshop PDF includes poetry from Puerto Rican and African American poets, including Martin Espada. The collection includes activities on defining culture and brainstorming your cultural home. Through these activities, learners will develop further understanding on culture characteristics, values, and how culture influences our everyday lives. Skills developed through this collection include interpersonal and intrapersonal conversations, learning how to use graphic organizers, and developing creative writing skills using vehicles such as free response and poetry. <br /></p> <p>This collection also features Smithsonian Latino Center Poetry Programs to complement the activity itself through visual performance. Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja (New York City) and Francisco X. Alarcón (Los Angeles/Davis) honor memory and ancestors during Day of the Dead, Quique Avilés (Washington, DC), Leticia Hernández-Linares (Los Angeles/San Francisco), Raquel Gutiérrez (Los Angeles/Bay Area), and José B. González (Connecticut) perform at a special <em>enceuntro </em>or encounter of Salvadoran poets. A memorable event of music and spoken word curated by Luis Alberto Ambroggio featured performances by local poets Alberto Avendaño, Quique Avilés, Naomi Ayala, José Ballesteros, Consuelo Hernández, Samuel Miranda, Egla Morales, and Carlos Parada, with music by singer/songwriter Patricio Zamorano and his band. </p>
Smithsonian Latino Center
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