Latinx Voices in Duke, Durham, and Beyond


Course Overview:

This course explores the construction of Latinx identities and the formation of community voices by examining cultural, political and social issues at local and national levels. You will be asked to deepen your role in the community as an advocate, activist, and/or ally. You will be required to participate in a service-learning project for a minimum of 20 hours outside of class time. In this course you will be assessed on content knowledge, oral and written Spanish, and your community engagement.

Service-learning projects from past semesters:

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Past projects include:

  1. Morehead Elementary School sessions: facilitating parent/teacher communication, empowering parents to advocate for their children, work on a final product that brings a voice to the families with whom we will work.
  2. Legal Aid of North Carolina: interpret for clients, assist with intake interviews, translate documents, and accompany clients in court.  Much of the work will be with Domestic Violence victim cases.
  3. NALEO: Assisting with applications for citizenship. Location: TBD.
  4. Latinos in/en Durham website in conjunction with Juan Porras to include information about and for local Latinx entrepreneurs.
  5. Latina Voices/Voces de mujeres latinas was a bilingual project is to shed light on the life and work of significant Latina women in the United States. 
Image of Latina Voices / Voces de mujeres latinas "We want to celebrate women who fight for human rights and equality and against discrimination and poverty, as well as those who have made an impact in their local communities and nationwide. We hope their stories, and their work and contributions to the community inspire today's youth, and especially young Latinas," says Professor Ana Fernandez, who taught the course in Fall 2019.

WATCH:  Past student project, video interview with María Luisa. In this clip she narrates her personal journey and describes how she started her own business cleaning houses in Durham.  More stories here.



"I thoroughly enjoyed my time doing the service-learning project. In helping both the children and the adult students, the experience proved to be invaluable. I saw firsthand how individuals learn and conceptualize things differently and how challenging ideas tripped up even the brightest of students. I increased my understanding of the different backgrounds that some of the students came from and why they were doing what they were doing. It was a breath of fresh air being a part of something extraordinary like that."
— Momin Ghaffar, student
"If learning is about reflection and making issues personal to the student, this course does it. The Duke students witness themes we cover in the classroom on topics such as transnationalism, race, gender, and class. In addition to learning about Latino culture and improving their Spanish, this course triggers significant contemplation and discussion among the students on these serious issues."
— Eileen Anderson, former instructor
"Working with GANO provides many different learning opportunities for Duke students and community members. It is through this service of providing ESL tutoring to the community that Duke students are exposed to real life issues connected to individual empowerment and acculturation. Also, Duke students must learn how best to present materials to meet the language learning goals of the community members and in the process begin to reflect on their own language learning." 

— Joan Clifford, Instructor and Faculty Advisor to GANO

Construction of Latinx identity(ies) and formation of community voices through the lens of cultural, political, and social issues at local and national level. Assessment on knowledge of content, oral and written Spanish. Includes service-learning component. Recommended students take 300-level Spanish course prior to enrolling.



Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • FL
  • W
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • LSGS 308S
Typically Offered