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Partnership of U.S. Latino Scholars Unveiled at UAlbany Sept. 29

By Vinny Reda (September 10, 2004)

A new partnership among U.S. Latino scholars and other professionals from three higher education research centers within New York State aims to instill greater public understanding of the multifarious concerns and experiences of Latinos in New York State.

The New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet) will address a broad spectrum of subjects related to four target areas: health, education, immigration, and politics/ public policy.

Scheduled to be formally unveiled at an inaugural reception on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 2:30 p.m. in the University Art Museum, NYLARNet was made possible by a grant from the New York State Legislature. It was sponsored there by Assemblyman Peter Rivera (76th District), chair of the Puerto Rican/ Hispanic Legislative Task Force.

“The creation of NYLARNet is, to borrow a famous quote, a small step for those who have envisioned and created it but a giant leap for New York’s Latino communities,” said Rivera. “As a policymaker, I am enthusiastic about the opportunities and changes that will come about for these communities through its efforts. NYLARNet is a reality that has long been in the waiting. Its potential can be limitless and its promise is priceless.”

Composed of UAlbany’s Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies (CELAC), the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, NYLARNet seeks to produce important research into the critical thinking, dialogue, and dissemination of information regarding U.S. Latino issues.

It also seeks to provide information services to legislators, public agencies, community organizations, and the media on U.S. Latino affairs, and will pay special attention to the realities and needs of the largely neglected Latino populations throughout New York State and outside of New York City.

“We anticipate that NYLARNet will eventually be expanded to include other institutions throughout the State of New York that have strong faculty resources in U.S. Latino-related studies,” said Edna Acosta-Belen, chair of the Department of Latin America and Caribbean Studies and director of CELAC.

“This growth, in addition to the overall public profile of the network, will be assisted by the implementation of a database of experts in the four target areas. There will also be a Web site that will provide regular electronic briefs on Latino issues.”