Latinx @ UVA

Latinx @ UVA

Afro-Latinx Student Organization

The Afro-Latinx Student Organization (ALSO) aims to advocate and educate on issues facing Afro-Latinx students at the University of Virginia. ALSO wishes to be an avid ally for not only our Afro-Latinx students but for all students on Grounds.

Mission:

ALSO’s mission is to educate the student population about the nuances of one’s body: accounting for the dynamics of race/color, ethnicity, and other intersecting identities that affect one’s navigation through the world: gender, sexual preference, class, ability, etc. It is through advocacy, education, and community events that ALSO wishes to build this awareness. ALSO seeks to make the University of Virginia a more supportive, mindful, and knowledgeable environment for Afro-latinx students and allies.


Our Website: Website

Founding year:

Spring 2017

Founders:

Kevin Westfield (CO’ 2019)

Creation:

The founder wanted to create an organization for bodies that did not fit perfectly within the constraints of Latinx-ness of Blackness. ALSO was founded to help propel the notion of dynamic identities within the University’s mainstream. In other words, people are not always going to be this or that. They may be both or a little more of this or a little less of that, and all of these are valid and mean something different to each person. In this way, ALSO functions as a mechanism of authentication; a place where students can feel fully themselves as they wade in their non-singularity.  

It was not until the anniversary of the Pulse shooting that the organization began to pick up traction as ALSO held a Pulse remembrance event to honor the primarily Black, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx people who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida.

In the case of CIO status, the official founding status came a long ways after. ALSO recently achieved CIO status in the fall of 2018 due to the recruiting and efforts of younger executive board students.  

Structure:

 

ALSO currently operates under a binary structure with the existence of an executive board and a general body. As the organization expands, executive board members hope to put into action the crews (what ALSO calls committees) they have so far and perhaps create even more crews!

 

Efforts:

  • PULSE Remembrance Event
    • Organized a gathering of the Charlottesville community to pay tribute to the 49 victims who lost their lives in the 2016 Pulse nightclub
    • This Pulse remembrance was a time for everyone to join in solidarity and give honor to those who lost their lives to senseless violence.
  • The March To Reclaim Our Grounds
    • Assisted in organizing a march to reclaim the progress that has been made by Black students, faculty, and staff towards justice over the last few decades
  • Co-sponsored a Colorism Discussion with LSA  
    • Discussed colorism in Latinx communities and at the University
  • Co-hosted Open Mic Event with PLUMAS
    • Focused on allowing different individuals at the University to express their experiences grappling with their identity, latinidad, and experiences at UVA

 

Information collected through an interview with Janice Figueroa (C/O 2021) and Kevin Westfield (C/O 2019)