Skip to main content

Latino Institute records

Identifier: MSS0011

Scope and Contents

The Latino Institute records span the dates 1965 to 2001. The collection contains organizational records such as historical information, goals, financial records, and minutes of the meetings of the Corporate Board, Administrative and General Staff. Additional material includes subject files, personal office records, financial files, reports, research files, and external publications. The Latino Institute’s efforts to establish bilingual education programs in Chicago Public Schools are also well documented in the records. Reports generated by the Research Division contain statistics, data, and analysis about Latinos in Chicago. And, researchers will also note the variety of relationships and partnerships that leadership and staff of the Latino Institute fostered with Chicago area community organizations, foundations, local and state government offices, and related interest groups.

The Latino Institute records include an incomplete collection of Publications including serials. The Organizational Records contain information on the history, founding and goals of the Latino Institute, financial records, and also include the minutes of the meetings of the Corporate Board, Administrative and General Staff. The Bilingual Education Files, arranged alphabetically by file folder title, document the Latino Institute’s work with the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Board of Education, bilingual organizations, conferences and workshops on bilingual education and information on bilingual education on the state and federal levels. The Subject Files, arranged alphabetically, reflect the Latino Institute’s association with other organizations, individuals, and causes. Major subjects included are Correctional Institutions and Prison Reform, Employment and Labor, Health Care, Housing and Urban Development, and the United Way. Personal Office Records are divided into four subseries documenting the Latino Institute members who created and maintained these files: Glenda Amick, Mario Aranda, Maria Cerda, and Rufino Osorio. The records classified as Proposals and Reports consist of project proposals, dissertations, theses, and analysis discussing Hispanics. The Reston Division Files include chronological files; subject files reflecting their concern with obtaining funding for and publishing scholarly research on the Hispanic condition; records documenting their internship program, and the Monograph Series.

The Administration Files, arranged chronologically, consist of the minutes of the Board of Trustees, minutes of the Executive Committee, Executive Director’s Correspondence, annual reports, and strategic planning documents. Beginning in the 1994-1995 fiscal year the minutes of both the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees were filed together. The original title, “Executive and Board of Trustee Committees” was retained. A brief biography of Migdalia “Millie” Rivera, Executive Director for the Latino Institute from 1988 to 1998, is also located in this series.

Financial Files include the financial statement reports prepared annually by Odell Hicks & Company, certified public accounts. The documents regarding evaluations of the Latino Institute by their primary financial supporter, United Way, are also contained in the Financial Files subseries. The Operational Files contain materials that document the routine operations of the Latino Institute. These files are arranged alphabetically by committee name or subject.

The Advocacy Division series is arranged chronologically and contains compilation reports of Latino Institute’s public policy and position statements, correspondence to government officials, and planning documents for lobbying activities. In 1994 the Latino Institute was awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to participate in the Latino Urban Policy Agenda Project. LUPA was designed to gather data from around the country in order to develop an authoritative statement on the urban policy needs of Latino communities.

Research and Documentation Division contains the LATSTAT (Latino Statistics and Data) reports, subject files, and publications. The subject files consist of data gathered and organized by the Latino Institute. The publications, arranged chronologically, are reports generated by the Latino Institute and organizations the Latino Institute collaborated with. These publications make up the bulk the collection. The Training and Management Assistance Division (T&MA) is arranged chronologically. Included are files of external organizations that requested services from the Latino Institute. The Latino Institute facilitated meetings and workshops with these organizations assisting them with their mission statements, by-laws, strategic plans, board restructuring, and specific projects.

The Bilingual Education Files (1992-1998) documents the Latino Institute advocacy efforts for a strong bilingual education program during the restructuring of the Chicago Public Schools that took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1989 the Latino Institute received funding from the Joyce Foundation to work in the area of school reform as it related to Chicago’s Latino community. These efforts are documented in the Latino Institute School Reform Project Files. Each of the Institute’s three divisions was involved in this process. The T&MA provided training to Local School Councils (LSCs). The Advocacy Division disseminated information through forums which were attended by the LSC presidents of 100 schools with the majority Latino enrollment. The Research Division documented the process of reform from a Latino perspective at the school and system wide levels. Also included in this series is Catalyst: Voices of Chicago School Reform, a publication produced by the Community Renewal Society.

The External Publications series is arranged chronologically and contains reports written by organizations independent of the Latino Institute. The News Digest is a compilation of newspaper articles and other publications that was distributed by Latino Institute to its Board of Trustees as a guide to issues that affected Latinos. Latino Institute Press Releases are filed after external publications and date from 1987-1998. The External Organizations series also includes files documenting collaborative efforts of several external organizations and the Latino Institute. The materials in the Proposals and Grants series were left in the original file folders maintained by the Latino Institute. Only the proposals to the organizations that granted funds to the Latino Institute were retained.


  • 1965-2001


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

The Latino Institute was established in 1974 by a small group of Latino activists with the help of Chicago Commons in order to develop links between the various Latino communities and Black and Anglo communities in Chicago. Its purpose was to empower Chicago’s Latino population by providing access to public and private resources. As stated in the undated “Latino Institute Promoting Hispanic Progress” pamphlet its two main goals were to aid Latinos on becoming better informed, organized, and involved in the crusade for equality in the community at large, and to increase Latino influence in Chicago’s political, cultural, and economic power structures.

During the years 1974-1979, Maria Cerda was Executive Director of the Latino Institute. The Leadership Training Program was developed during her tenure. This program was designed to train and motivate community leaders to address community problems. The main focus of the program became the issue of Bilingual Education in the Chicago Public Schools. In 1979, Mario Aranda was named Executive Director of the Latino Institute. Though the issue of Bilingual Education in the Chicago Public Schools was still an important one, under Aranda the Latino Institute focused on new concerns. In order to gain better access to funding sources in Washington D.C, the Research Division of the Latino Institute was opened in Reston, Virginia, in 1979. The Reston Division was founded in order to obtain accurate data and publish research about Latinos.

The Latino Institute focused the achievement of its goals through its three divisions: Advocacy and Communications, Research and Documentation, and Training and Management Assistance. In August of 1998, the Board of Trustees was forced to close the Latino Institute due to organizational mismanagement. The initial plan was to reopen in 1999; unfortunately, this plan was never executed.


55.75 Linear Feet (157 boxes)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


The Latino Institute Records are arranged in eighteen series: 1. Publications; 2. Organizational Records; 3. Bilingual Education Files; 4. Subject Files; 5. Personal Office Records; 6. Proposals and Reports; 7. Reston Division Files; 8. Administration; 9. Financial Files; 10. Operational Files; 11. Advocacy Division; 12. Research and Documentation Division; 13. Training and Management Assistance Division; 14. Bilingual Education Files (1992-1998); 15. Latino Institute School Reform Project; 16. External Publications; 17. External Organizations; 18. Proposals and Grants

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mario Aranda, Accession 1986.11; Donated by Latinos United, Accession 2003.21

Processing Information

S. Sidwell; M. Black 2006

Guide to Latino Institute records
S. Sidwell; M. Black 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614