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Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement

Hispanic? Latino? Chicano? What’s the Difference?

Date: 6:30pm - 8:00pm PDT September 18, 2014 Location: Templeton Campus Center - Thayer room

Templeton Campus Center - Thayer room

Hispanic? Latino? Chicano?  What’s the difference among these terms?  Which one(s) do you use and why? Which one(s) have been used to describe you? 

Join community activist Sean Aaron Cruz* for an engaging discussion and history of each of these terms.

Snacks and drinks will be provided.  Free and open to everyone.  

This event is part of the IME’s Heritage Month programming.


*Sean Aaron Cruz is a writer, editor and activist of Chicano and Irish descent.  He does not self-identify as Latino or Hispanic (both are colonial terms), but has always declared himself as “openly Mexican-American”, descended from the great civilizations of Mexico, Teotihuacáno to Aztec, where corn was domesticated nearly 8,000 years ago. His father was born in the Nahuatl town of Teocaltiche in the state of Jalisco.

Sean was born and grew up in Northern California, which was part of Mexico before the US invasion of 1846, and experienced anti-Mexican bigotry in many forms from an early age. He became an anti-Vietnam War activist and joined the Chicano Movement in the late 60s and early 70s, and has been an advocate for improvements in living and working conditions for farm workers since he was a teenager.

He experienced severe culture shock when he moved to the Portland Metro Area in 1988, finding that few Oregonians knew anything at all about Chicano, Mexican or Mesoamerican indigenous cultures. His four children disappeared into Utah in 1996 in a Mormon abduction. Fighting to find and recover his children through four jurisdictions in three states (Oregon, Washington, Utah) he was one of only two non-whites he encountered at any point in those court rooms through the years.

He became Oregon state senator Avel Gordly’s legislative staff in 2003, serving in that capacity for six years. During that time, he led Senator Gordly’s workgroup on child abduction, which resulted in the passage of SB1041, Oregon’s landmark child abduction bill, known as “Aaron’s Law” for his late, abducted son in 2005.

He is co-author of Winona LaDuke’s most recent book, The Militarization of Indian Country, Honor the Earth 2012; Michigan State University Press, Makwa Enewed, 2013.

Sean is a co-founder of The Friends of Celilo Falls and the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival.


Event Cost

Free and open to the public

Event Contact

Cathy Busha