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El Centro Chicano y Latino is open Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm, up through Friday, June 13th. 

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Letter of Support for El Centro and Elvira from Alum(na)

"When we organized Afro-Latine and Caribbean-centered events, Elvira and El Centro staff supported and celebrated alongside us."

As an alumna who spent a lot of time at El Centro helping to build and expand community initiatives for Latine students, I was disappointed to hear of the events this past May. Yes, when I was at Stanford, I felt like representation for non-Mexican Latine students was lacking, and it sounds like many of the protesting students were expressing frustration related to this issue (and others). No place is perfect. But it is on us to build more inclusive spaces, and to do so with respect, kindness, and thoughtfulness.

In all the years I spent talking to Elvira and other staff at El Centro about programming and community-building, I always felt like they displayed these qualities. Elvira always made time to chat with me and other students who had concerns or ideas to make El Centro more inclusive. She genuinely listened and supported me. She also took the time to explain the history and intention behind El Centro, pointing out considerations that I, as someone who did not grow up in California and was not familiar with Chicano history, did not understand. I felt like these conversations about the future and identity of El Centro were productive, and I would hope that similar dialogue could address concerns students have today.

To be clear, I never experienced any bigotry or obstruction of efforts to increase inclusivity. In fact, when we organized Afro-Latine and Caribbean-centered events, Elvira and El Centro staff supported and celebrated alongside us.

While there is always more work to be done, it never hurts to start by assuming each other's best intentions, keeping an open mind, and focusing on constructive dialogue. Elvira and El Centro staff have been able stewards of many of our community spaces over the years and deserve our respect and consideration when discussing these issues we all feel so passionate about.

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