The Latino Intersections website and the
Encrucijada/Crossroads electronic journal grew out of the
first Latinos 2000 conference, which took place in February
2000 at Dartmouth College. The conference was a spectacular success.
During four very intense days, hundreds of Latino scholars and students
converged on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, NH. We had individuals
and groups of students representing institutions from all over the
country: Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Bard, Swarthmore, Chapel
Hill, Mount Holyoke, UCLA, Arizona...to name just a few.
Latinos 2000 was no ordinary conference. It was not just a forum for scholarly papers and academic discussion. It brought together Latino students, educators, administrators, social and political activists, media people and performance artists. The goals of the conference were twofold. On the one hand it sought to open up a dialogue among students, administrators and faculty from Dartmouth and other academic institutions, and to extend that dialogue beyond academic boundaries, involving Latino people and people interested in Latino issues from different professions and social backgrounds. On the other it sought to create a common ground for the formulation of goals and strategies that would enhance the representation and participation of Latinos in this country in all spheres of life: economic, social, cultural and political.
Latinos 2000 was also a conference for and co-organized
by students. The topics for discussion had been selected by a student/faculty
organizing committee, and students were involved at all levels of
planning and organization. They gave papers, led discussion sections
and presented topics at the workshops. The members of the La Alianza
Latina, the East Coast Chicano Student Forum (ECCSF), and the Movimiento
Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) also coordinated a student-centered
conference in conjunction with Latinos 2000. The student's
active participation, their enthusiastic involvement and their wonderful
contributions were a key factor in making the conference a tremendous
success. As the conference progressed a sense of common purpose
and shared concerns began to emerge, until it became clear at the
last plenary session that we were ready to work together on joint
agendas. The final plenary session made it clear that la gente
of Latinos 2000 had common needs and goals and that we
were going to work together to reach those goals.
Our closing statement at the end of the conference contained
We are now moving to a new phase in Latinos
2000. The conference is over and we are working to carry out
the mandate that was sketched out in the final Plenary Session of
the conference. We are redesigning the website so that it becomes
the meeting place to carry on with the discussion of the issues
raised at the conference by the panel presenters, the workshop participants,
and the general debates of the plenary sessions. The new website
will provide an interactive space and a valuable source of information
on Latinos 2000's important issues and concerns. It will
include, among other things, directories of contact people, participating
institutions and organizations; news from the different sites; a
Working Document which will be an ongoing blueprint for la lucha,
updated regularly with the input from participants; and a chat room.
We think of this new website as a comunidad, a communal
space for developing joint agendas for action so that we can share
proposals and bring all these ideas and projects back home in the
form of academic, social and political action.
In keeping with that commitment, we have created the Latino
Intersections website and publish the first issue of the Latino
electronic journal, Encrucijada/Crossroads on the anniversary
of the Latinos 2000 conference. This issue features discussion
texts, papers and video materials from the original conference.
Encrucijada/Crossroads is a bilingual academic journal
committed to publishing cutting-edge scholarship on Latino issues.
It will also feature arts events, sound recordings, and video materials
covering a broad spectrum of Latino developments. Encrucijada/Crossroads
will also publish selections from the proceedings of future Latinos
2000 conferences. The Encrucijada/Crossroads electronic
journal will become an invaluable resource and provide an Internet
crossroads for a broad spectrum of scholars, writers, artists, and
performers involved in Latino Studies.
The Latino Intersections website has been designed
to provide an Internet crossroads for la comunidad latina.
It expands the dialogue that takes place in our electronic academic
with four major components:
New Voices centers on student works and contributions and presents the issues, goals, and strategies for younger Latinos and Latinas and like-minded people.
provides up-to-date information on current and future events, job
postings, announcements, and calendars.
Center is a regularly updated archive of bibliographies,
curricular materials, directories, and links to other sites.
Interact is the Latino Intersections on-line forum and discussion board, which allows a virtual community from around the world to create connections and to promote discussion about Latino issues.
The Latinos 2000 conference was a great
success and an uplifting experience for all of us, and we are planning
to offer future Latinos 2000 conferences at Dartmouth in
upcoming years. Until the time comes when we are able to meet face-to-face,
the electronic academic journal Encrucijada/Crossroads,
together with the rest of the Latino Intersections website,
will provide an interdisciplinary, intellectual meeting place. Moreover,
through our on-line forum, Interact, we can remain in regular
contact and continue to network between conference meetings. With
its many facets, Latino Intersections will open up a space
for the development of an on-going blueprint for la lucha,
and will allow for a sustained, coordinated action to address issues
relevant to Latinos and Latinas across the U.S. and in cyberspace.