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Madison proclaims April 28 Chican@ Latin@ Studies Day

April 25, 2012 By

Mayor Paul Soglin has signed a proclamation designating this Saturday, April 28, as Chican@ Latin@ Studies Day in the city of Madison. It is the 35th anniversary of the program.

Sylvia Garcia, administrator of the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program (CLSP), and associate director Petra Guerra approached Madison Common Council alderperson Shiva Bidar-Sielaff to introduce the proclamation to the council on April 10.

The proclamation will be read at the Chican@ Latin@ Studies 35th anniversary event on Saturday, which will take place in Tripp Commons at the Memorial Union from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Bidar-Sielaff, recently elected president of the Madison Common Council, feels that the proclamation is critically important given the backlash against Ethnic Studies and Chican@ Studies in particular nationwide.

“The Madison Common Council and Mayor Soglin are well aware of the multiple academic, social and political benefits of offering a strong curriculum array in CLSP,” says Bidar-Sielaff.

“As the Latin@ populations continues to grow in the USA, the more people educated on the history, political similarities and differences need to be part of an educated person’s repertoire.”

“The 35th anniversary of the CLSP was the perfect opportunity to declare citywide that we appreciate the scholarship of CLSP instructors, program staff and enrolled CLSP Certificate students,” says Guerra. “Furthermore, one cannot forget that CLSP classes can be taken to earn the Ethnic Studies three credit requirement, which means many more students gain from our program.”

Sylvia Garcia, a longtime Chicana activist in the Madison area, was part of the call from the Chican@ community 35 years ago to create a CSP.

“Mayor Soglin has always been a strong supporter of CLSP since the early days of the program, so I was hopeful he would agree to the proclamation,” she says.

Saturday’s conference will include panel discussions about how the program came into being and the different perspectives from faculty, students, alumni and past administrators.

Bidar-Sielaff will present the proclamation at 6 p.m.