Latino Studies and Latin American Studies are inter-disciplinary fields of research and analysis that seek to learn and teach about the history and present realities of Latin America and Latinx communities in the U.S. Race and racism are features of social, political, cultural, and economic life in the Americas, both historically and in the present. LLAS faculty recommend the following (far from comprehensive) list of resources for anyone interested in exploring the ways in which racial categories and racist ideas and practices have determined systematically the unequal access to power, resources, and cultural representation of different social groups in the Americas.
The mural displayed on the sides of the Link bus was conceived and painted by CSB/SJU students in spring and fall of 2018. The students were enrolled in a Latino/Latin American Studies course on the theme of "Immigrant Voices in Conversations about Justice," in which they worked to imagine a work of public art that visualizes justice. The mural process was guided by faculty members Rachel Melis (Art) and Bruce Campbell (LLAS).
This work of public art was made possible by significant support from Art Club, Jennifer Beste, chair of Catholic Thought and Culture, Tommy O’Laughlin in the Office of Marketing and Communication, the CSB and SJU Presidents’ Offices, Intercultural & International Student Services, and the Transportation team.
Community Justice Mural
In spring 2018, students enrolled in LLAS 270:
Readings in Latino/Latin American Studies attended a series of immigrant-led panels focused on economic and civil rights. The students read and reflected about the concept of justice as defined by a variety of texts and traditions, from Catholic social doctrine to social philosophy to the neo-Zapatista project in Mexico.
The students then took up the challenge of imagining justice as an image. Two teams of students – one led by Ali Jungles (’19) and Lesly González-Barragán (’19) and the other by Bridget Davis (’18) and Kailee Young (’20) – worked to create two designs, which they presented to the CSB/SJU campus communities for feedback. Based on responses from some 400 members of the CSB/SJU community, the students decided to combine elements of both designs into one. Lead artists Ali Jungles, Bridget Davis, Christian Williams (’20), and Sophie Koloski (’19) completed a 5’x15’ mural on cloth titled Justice, and then met with the presidents of CSB/SJU about transferring the image to the sides of a Link bus. President Hemesath and President Hinton, along with the Intercultural Office, gave their support to this mural, as they had for its 2018 companion Community bus murals.
The Justice mural image uses the Fibonacci sequence to construct the visual metaphor of the spiral (justice envisioned as a circle opening outward), enlivened by the companion figures of the snail and the speech volute. This is an image of the often slow and overlooked movement toward justice through communication and the opening of circles of recognition, respect, and concern.