Understanding Latino diversity topic of community discussion

September 19th, 2007

Lillian Casillas, the director of La Casa located on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, will visit Indiana University East on Monday, September 24 as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Casillas will speak with area Latino youth and their parents on diversity in the Latino/a culture as well as the importance of a college education. The event is in partnership with Amigos, the Richmond Latino center.

The community is welcome to attend. The youth will begin with a campus visit at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and a tour. Casillas’ discussion, “Latinidades: Understanding the Diverse Latino Community,” will begin at 7 p.m. in Whitewater Hall.

“Part of our empowerment as a community is to understand who we are as a Latino community,” Casillas said.

Tim Williams, director of Multicultural Affairs at IU East, said it is important for the Richmond community to understand the diverse population of the Latino community. He also emphasized that many of the young people need to know that a college education is a possibility for them.

“We want to share with them the opportunities a college education allows them,” Williams said. “They need to know that there are support services available to them so that they can successfully accomplish their goals.”

Casillas earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and her master’s in Education from Indiana University. Her work on the Bloomington campus is to support Latino/a students, staff and faculty with resources. She is responsible for developing programming that contributes to their educational, cultural and social enrichment. Within the Bloomington community, she also provides support and access for Latinos to educational, health, social and other community services.

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