National Hispanic Heritage Month: GSU’s Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies

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The Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies (CLALS) at GSU was formed in 1998 to provide a forum for researchers interested in Latin American and Latino cultures, languages, and history.  Its members represent departments such as Modern & Classical Languages, Political Science, Art, Education, Psychology, History, Communication, and others.

One of CLALS’ initiatives is Caminar Latino, a community-based intervention program for Latino families affected by domestic violence. Since 1990, it has grown from a traditional support group for Latina women who had experienced violence to a comprehensive intervention program that includes three women’s groups, two men’s groups, four youth and children’s groups, and a playgroup for infants and toddlers. Co-founded by Dr. Julia Perilla, the program is a model for how a community’s grassroots approach to a social problem may be more effective than using solely a theoretical or academic perspective.

Another CLALS initiative, Proyecto Juventud, looks at factors that promote social adjustment and academic achievement among Latino immigrant teens. Dr. Gabriel Kuperminc leads the research team in tracking the psychosocial, social, and academic development of Latino/a youth in grades 6 – 12. The team bases their approach on research trends that show Latino immigrant youth have more academic success and less behavioral issues than teenagers in more acculturated groups. Findings from the project have been instrumental in informing new research.

Learn more about the Center’s news, events, and programs at their site.

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