Monday, August 10, 2015

Chandler-Gilbert Community College Awarded National Latino Grant: Grant to educate students about the history and culture of Latinos in the U.S.

Chandler, Ariz.—August 5, 2015--

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) has been awarded a Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).  As one of 203 grant recipients selected from across the country, CGCC will receive an award of $10,000 to produce public programming about Latino history and culture. CGCC’s participation in the Latino Americans grant affords a unique opportunity to provide a framework for students and community members to explore the history and cultural impact of Latinos in the United States. 

At the center of the programming is the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. Learn more about the series at  Three episodes of the documentary will be screened between September and May with scholar-led discussions after the screenings.

Donna Thompson, Humanities and Woman Studies Faculty and grant co-director, emphasizes the importance of “using the arts and humanities to explore the challenges and opportunities present in our communities.” She explains that “An essential feature of CGCC’s grant events is the focus on creating space for conversation, debate among students, scholars, and community members around significant concerns and issues in our region like immigration, the Dream Act, migrant workers, cultural conflicts, and citizenship.” 

Program activities will engage students and community youth from the Si Se Puede Foundation in writing and sharing their stories; hearing the writing of Southwest and local writers, including Sandra Cisneros; with local playwrights, actors, and artists; and producing dramatic scenes in response to the migrant experience. 

Alexandra Cannell, CGCC Coordinator of Service-Learning, explains the positive outcomes of this work: “This grant provides the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Si Se Puede Foundation through programming that will serve its youth and educate our own students by giving them avenues to explore their own identities in connection with Latino history and current events. This is a critical component of their personal development that will positively impact their futures and the future of our community." 

Programming will also involve recording and sharing the histories of local Latino American artists to celebrate the artists’ lives and accomplishments, teach about local history and themes inherent in the artists’ life experiences, and inspire community members, especially the youth, to make art part of their life for identity exploration, enrichment, and expression. CGCC will be display the oral histories collected in their library as well at Chandler Public Library.

For more information, please call Dean of Arts and Sciences, Chris Schnick at 480-732-7274, or visit       

About Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Chandler-Gilbert Community College is one of ten Maricopa County Community Colleges, the largest community college system in the country. CGCC serves the higher education needs of over 19,000 students at four locations in the Southeast Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area - the Pecos Campus in Chandler, the Williams Campus in Mesa, the Sun Lakes Center in Sun Lakes and at the Communiversity in Queen Creek. CGCC offers degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, university transfer, workforce development programs, and continuing education, along with nationally recognized programs in service learning, learning communities, and civic engagement. For more information, visit or call 480-732-7000.

About the National Endowment for Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at     

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

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