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La Raza Student Cultural Organization records

Identifier: ua01234

Scope and Content

The collection contains administrative documents, budgets and financials, news clippings and flyers, correspondence, committee files, minutes, newsletters, scrapbooks, and program flyers. Extent dates are 1975-2010: bulk dates are 1975-1996.

The collection documents the beginnings of La Raza on campus, including its founding as the Latin Liberation Front. It also documents the connections between the local and national community and the student organization, and the international political, economic and socal issues that informed the organization's scope and activities. There is also material in the collection documenting the challenges faced in establishing and supporting the Chicano Studies Department on campus.

Programming documentation, in the form of program flyers and announcements, is relatively comprehensive for the 1980s through 2004.


  • 1972-2010


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The La Raza Student Cultural Center grew out of the ethnic studies movement in higher education that began in the United States in the mid-1960s as a part of the Civil Rights movement.

Under pressure from the Latin Liberation Front, a student-led group of Chicana and Chicano students from colleges in the Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota began to address financial aid, student employment on campus, and student and faculty recruiting at the University. In particular, the Front strongly encouraged the creation of a Department of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota. Dissatisfied with the pace of the University's response, on October 26, 1971, twenty Chicano students occupied Morrill Hall, the Twin Cities administration building. Within three days of the occupation and ultimatum, College of Liberal Arts committees approved the proposal for a freestanding Chicano Studies department.

The Department of Chicano Studies accepted its first students in the fall of 1972 and was the first Chicano studies program in the Upper Midwest.

The engine that drove the creation of the academic department, the Latin Liberation Front, continued to maintain a campus presence. Graduate students identified with the protests leading to the Morrill Hall occupation renamed their organization the Chicano Student Coalition, which later changed names to the Chicano Coalition de Aztlan. This group focused on issues relating to supporting graduate education and retaining undergraduates. Undergraduates recruited into the Chicano Studies program affilated with the CCA as the Chicano Liberation Front and focused their energies on starting a student scholarship fund and social programming.

A critical component of the Chicano and Latino student organizational structure on campus was the creation of the Chicano-Latino Learning Resources Center. By 1977, the center, located in Walter Library, served as the location for counseling and academic support and as an informal center of social support. The CLLRC was staffed by professionals and managed as a unit within the Office of Minority and Special Student Affairs (OMSSA.)

By the mid-1980s, the two student groups merged and changed its name to La Raza ("The People") Cultural Center. The Cultural Center was and still is primarily student run, and plans cultural, social and educational events for both Chicano-Latino students on campus and the University community as a whole. Students from various North, Central and South American countries and cultures use the Center for both coalition-building activities centered around the larger Hispanic community and a focal point for social and academic support.


2.5 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)


The collection contains records of the history and activities of La Raza Student Cultural Organization, which promotes greater historical, political and cultural awareness concerning the Chicano/a, Xicano/a and Latino/a communities, through cultural and educational programs and events.


The original arrangement at the time the collection was received has been preserved.

Source of acquisition

The record were transferred to University Archives in November, 2015, in a single accession. A subsequent accession of materials documenting events and activities was added in 2022.

Related Materials in University Archives

Guillermo Rojas papers.

Office of the President records

Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum records

Processing Information

The collection was proessed by Jane Sonneman and Susan Hoffman in November and December of 2015.

La Raza Student Cultural Organization records, 1972-2010
Susan Hoffman
December, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Contents list updated to reflect 2022 accession

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area