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Latinx American Civil Rights


  • Explore frameworks, concepts, models, and examples from the diverse, historic, and ongoing struggles for Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x civil rights and social justice that individual students can utilize as they grapple with the courageous, difficult, and complex history of race, migration, and belonging in the United States · Encourage and foster a “community of belonging” at BYU
  • Provide students with the knowledge, mentorship, skills, resources, personal connections, and networks necessary to participate in and lead efforts to improve race relations

Student Expectations:

  • Diligent Student
    • This seminar is a class where diligent effort is required. Students are expected to come to class well-prepared, having completed their weekly assignments, and ready to engage in meaningful dialogue.
  • Engaged Participant
    • This seminar will consist of a group of diverse individuals who will engage with the topics of racial inequality, civil rights, and social justice in the US. Because of the weight of these topics, students are expected to communicate with respect, compassion, and honesty.
  • Active Citizen
    • This seminar is designed for students to develop an informed perspective on the experience and contributions of Latino/as/x. With this understanding, students will be more prepared to cultivate racial equality within their everyday interactions, among their friends and families, and throughout their broader communities.

Seminar Highlights:

Students in this course will be introduced to major events, historical themes, people, places, and strategies in the ongoing struggle for Latino/a/x civil rights. As we explore the long struggle for racial equality, self-determination, and social justice, we will focus primarily on events and mobilizations from the 1930s to the present in the US Southwest. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a five-day trip visiting museums, historical sites, present-day communities, and meeting with individuals and organizations committed to Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x civil rights and social justice. The nature of the experience is subject to change each year as the availability of people, places, and events are subject to both the BYU academic calendar, faculty availability, and the schedules and circumstances of individuals, visitor centers, and organizations in Texas, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.

In the past, the Latino Civil Rights Seminar has featured the following highlights:

  • In-depth classroom discussions led by underrepresented faculty with expertise in the fields of Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x history, civil rights, immigration, and social justice
  • Cohort-based learning with underrepresented students and faculty and others of diverse backgrounds · Tour museums, cultural centers, and monuments like the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Education Building in San Antonio, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the Boyle Heights Museum, and the Bracero Monument in Los Angeles, and Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego
  • Tour murals and public art installations that depict Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x history and civil rights in San Antonio’s Westside, East Los Angeles, The Great Wall of Los Angeles and Chicano Park in San Diego
  • Tour and meet with students, faculty, and staff from Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x programs and research institutes at UT Austin, UT San Antonio, UCLA, and USC
  • Tour historic Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x communities in San Antonio, Los Angeles, San Diego, Corpus Christi, Austin, Salt Lake City (and in the future Phoenix and Denver)
  • Meet with individuals that organized and participated in Chicano civil rights and political organizations like the Mexican American Youth Organization, Crusade for Justice, La Raza Unida Party, Brown Berets, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, National Chicano Moratorium Committee and the Farmworkers Movement
  • Meet with individuals leading contemporary Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and immigrant rights organizations
  • Attend Sunday worship services in a Latino/a/x congregation
  • Present research, experiences, and lessons learned through the seminar to members of our BYU community
  • Pre-and post-seminar reunions and gatherings

Attendance Requirements:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Be registered as a daytime-continuing student at BYU for the fall semester
  • Complete application by deadline (February 15th)

Acceptance considerations:

  • Not all applicants will have the opportunity to be interviewed
  • Seminar administrators will select applicants for interviews to make some determinations regarding the applicants':
    • Connection to, interest in, and/or understanding of Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x history in the US with particular interest in civil rights, immigrant rights, and social justice
    • Interest in and potential for actively participating in community building, civic engagement, mentorship, and leadership
    • Commitment to the Seminar as an academic experience
    • Commitment to generating, facilitating, and participating in dialogue about potentially sensitive matters in a forthright, thoughtful, courteous, and constructive manner
  • Class standing will also be factored into the final decision, because it impacts:
    • The number of times a student will have future opportunities to participate should they not be selected
    • The amount of time to serve in, or be served by, a mentoring relationship.

Important Dates:

Application deadline: February 15th by 11:59 PM (Mountain)

Interviews: first and second weeks of March

Admission notification: mid-to-late March

Pre-seminar meet-and-greet: mid-to-late April

Fall Semester (Fridays)

  • Class will take place each Friday (time and room number to be determined). To facilitate conversation and make allowance for processing the material, class will last 1 hour and 15 minutes. Conflicts with other classes, even for small overlaps, will disqualify students from participating.
  • Attendance will factor heavily into the final grade, and so every necessary preparation is required to not only ensure no class periods are missed, but also promptness and full attendance for each class period.


  • The five-day seminar trip is scheduled during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving break. We anticipate leaving Thursday evening and returning Tuesday morning. Specific departure and arrival times are to be determined.

Applications will be accepted next year for Fall 2023. We are currently not accepting applications for Fall 2022.


The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences sponsors the Latino Civil Rights Seminar and helps to cover some costs associated with the course and trip. The cost of the Latino Civil Rights Seminar is estimated to be about $1000, with the following expenses:

Flight - $250

Shared Hotel Room ($125/night) - $500

Lunches & Snacks ($15/day) - $75

Dinners ($15/day) - $75

Gifts for presenters, hosts, etc. - $10

Entrance fees to museums, historic sites, etc. - $40

Reader/Book for course - $50

Total: $1000

Seminar administrators do not want financial concerns to be an impediment to participation. Students are encouraged to apply for Experiential Learning Funds and other support to help cover the cost of the trip. If a student does not receive sufficient funding and is otherwise unable to cover the remaining expenses for the course, seminar leaders will work with college and university administrators to find funding to support every student's participation. Please do not let concerns about funding keep you from applying to participate in the program. We will all work together to ensure that every student selected for the seminar can participate fully in the program, regardless of financial need.

Application & Selection Timeline:

The seminar application will become available during the second week of January. The application must be completed in its entirety by 11:59 p.m. on February 15th. Applications submitted by the deadline and that demonstrate minimum eligibility will be reviewed for interview consideration. Applicants selected for interviews will meet with two or more Seminar faculty/administrators. The applicants who are ultimately selected for the Seminar will be determined by:

  • The number of applications received
  • The number of eligible applicants
  • Interview insights and information
  • Group dynamics
  • Program logistics

Final decisions for all applicants, regardless of interview status, will be communicated during the second or third week of March. Although unique, the Latino Civil Rights Seminar is not the only way to learn more about Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x history, the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of race relations in the US. Regardless of whether or not you have an opportunity to participate in the Seminar, you are encouraged to explore classes and other opportunities in Latin American Studies, History, Sociology, Global Women’s Studies, Multicultural Student Services, FHSS Office for Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion, and the BYUSA club Hispanos Unidos.

Specific course offerings related to Latino/a/x issues include, but are not limited to:

  • HIST 221: The United States Since 1877
    • Professor David-James Gonzales
  • HIST 385: Latinos in the United States
    • Professors David-James Gonzales and Ignacio Garcia
  • HIST 362: US Immigration History
    • Professor David-James Gonzales
  • HIST 363: North American Borderlands History (formerly the Spanish Frontier in North America)
    • Professors David-James Gonzales and Brenden Rensink
  • LA AM 211: Introduction to Latin American Studies
    • Professors Jeff Shumway and Matt Hill
  • SOC 112: Social Problems
    • Professor Jane Lopez
  • SOC 323: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
    • Professors Jacob Rugh and Ryan Gabriel
  • SOC 423: Sociology of Immigration
    • Professor Jane Lopez
  • GWS 341: Women and Global Migration
    • Professor Kif Augustine-Adams
  • HONRS 227: Social Sciences & Arts - Race and Music
    • Professor Jacob Rugh
  • SC ED 353: Multicultural Education for Secondary Teachers
    • Professors Eric Bybee and Roni Jo Draper
  • EL ED 200: Introduction to Education
    • Professor Bryant Jensen
  • EL ED 203: Multicultural Education
    • Professor Bryant Jensen

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the Latino Civil Rights seminar application or process, please send an email to

Applications will be accepted next year for Fall 2023. We are currently not accepting applications for Fall 2022.

Click here for the Civil Rights Seminar Application