The Extras: La Alianza Latina

Members of La Alianza Latina!

Hello, Brunonian family! I’m Jacklyne Vargas, nice to meet you all *insert imaginary handshake here*! I’m here to be your compass (well, that sounds heavy, doesn’t it?) in everything extracurricular here at Brown. If you’re reading this, send help you are a magnetic force of your own and I’m simply helping you figure out what attracts you. In all The Extras, in all the magnetic forces here at Brown, you can easily be pulled in countless directions, but I’m here to help! If anything, we’ll go crazy together…

To start off: WHERE ARE MY LATINOS AT?

If you are Latino/Hispanic, then put your hands up in the air and wave them like you just don’t care joining La Alianza Latina (which translated means ‘The Latino Alliance’) may interest you! Now, I for one was not really interested in joining any Hispanic or Latino groups on campus given that I wanted to branch out, get to know and be around others that are completely different from me. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t sure if being around other Latinos was a way to do that.

HOWEVER, I found that La Alianza Latina was different. While we do embrace and celebrate our Hispanic backgrounds and culture, we think about others and act to impact the Latino community.

At LAL, we work on different projects that we feel would most benefit not only the Latino community at Brown, but in the Providence area as well.

Projects such as the High School Outreach Project and the Immigration Awareness Campaign tackle widespread, national issues at a local level.

Through the High School Outreach Project, we hope to increase Hispanic student enrollment at universities by partnering with different local high schools and giving presentations on topics like college applications, financial aid, standardized testing, college essays and the like. From our own personal experiences, we’ve found that many Hispanic students, especially low-income, feel at a disadvantage when considering their plans for the future but during our talks, we’ve emphasized that a college education is more accessible than previously thought and encouraged students to be proud of their heritage!

Through the Immigration Awareness Campaign (which is only on Brown’s campus), we will gauge student awareness of issues surrounding immigration and document their thoughts, feelings and reactions to these issues. We hope to simultaneously dispel misconceptions about immigration and spread the message that immigration affects all of us, in some manner, way, shape or form, regardless of our backgrounds. As President Obama phrased it in his speech concerning immigration reform in November 2014: “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants.”

Though La Alianza Latina is a new student group on campus (we began functioning as a student group this past Fall semester), we have ambitious, caring, innovative and dedicated members who are committed to helping the Hispanic/Latino population regionally and nationally.

If you are interested in learning more about or participating in LAL, please see our Facebook page or email our fearless leader, Nora Castrejon ’16, at laalianzalatinaatbrown@gmail.com for more information! We’d love to have your support!

All my love,

Jackie

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions, comments, frustrations, tirades, rants, chocolates, inquiries or suggestions (I’d love your input) either below or in my email,  jacklyne_vargas@brown.edu! I’m seriously excited to interact with you all… Seriously. Have a delightful day!

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