Since before its launch in 2019, the Carolina Latinx Center has been dedicated to supporting UNC’s Latinx communities.
One of its newest initiatives is the Latinx Leadership Alliance, a group of CLC staff and student leaders who seek to advise and support one another through the common goal of unifying Latinx communities at the University.
“We really just wanted a space for us to come together, talk, debrief and come as a community, and regrow this sense of belonging at our school,” senior Roberto Negrete, this year’s student ambassador for the Latinx Leadership Alliance council, said.
The Alliance started out as an idea for reengaging the Latinx community as the University began to fully transition back to in-person learning, two years after the pandemic began, Negrete said.
However, he and other organization representatives saw potential for the Alliance to be a long-term collaboration.
“We noticed a lot of division within the Latinx community here at UNC,” senior Melanie Godinez-Cedillo, co-president of Mi Pueblo, a Latinx student organization on campus, said. “There's so many organizations, but we never really got together besides the Hispanic Heritage Month programming that we have every September-October.”
When the Alliance first met in September, representatives from five student organizations attended.
In the months since, the Alliance has grown to 10 organizations: Mi Pueblo, the Bridge, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Students United for Immigrant Equality, PorColombia, Latino Medical Student Association, Omega Phi Beta Sorority and Brazilian Student Association.
“I think that there's been a desire from students to help facilitate the formation of something like this,” Josmell Pérez, the director of the CLC, said. “There's always been that desire for student leaders, student organizations and students to have a space in a forum to be able to come together from across groups and organizations.”