Ford Foundation gives $400,000 grant to UF Center for Latin American Studies

Published: April 30th, 2012

Category: Religion, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies has received a $400,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to develop an interdisciplinary program on immigration, religion, and social change.

The grant will be used to develop effective models of intervention, exchange and outreach to address the urgent needs of immigrant communities in the South. The center is partnering with faculty in the colleges of Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Nursing, and with nongovernmental organizations in the region.

Principal activities will include: developing a support network for local organizations working in the region on immigrant integration and local civic engagement; working with local schools to train educators and community leaders, build family-school-community partnerships and generate appropriate educational materials; implementing and evaluating grassroots programs to improve health literacy, health access and build leadership in vulnerable immigrant communities; developing a specialization in migration studies within the master’s degree in Latin American studies at UF; and establishing an academic service learning program with civic or religious organizations that serve the immigration community in the areas of citizenship, naturalization, health care, education and human rights.

Philip Williams, director of the Center for Latin American Studies, said “the grant builds on years of innovative research on Latin American immigration to new destinations in the U.S. South. The grant also recognizes the center’s long tradition of engaged scholarship that crosses disciplines, links academics to practitioners and works in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders.”

Founded in 1930, the mission of the UF Center for Latin American Studies is to advance knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and its peoples throughout the hemisphere. With more than 170 faculty from colleges across UF, the Center is one of the largest institutions for interdisciplinary research, teaching and outreach on Latin America, Caribbean and Latino Studies.


Manuel Vasquez,, 352-392-1625
Philip Williams,, 352-273-4702
Maria Coady,, 352-273-4228
Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini,, 352-273-6499

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