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The mission of the Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) is to provide a university-wide forum for Central Washington University (CWU) students, encouraging equity, diversity, and inclusivity, representing all disciplines and experience levels, to present their mentored research, scholarship, and creative works in a juried environment that meets professional conference standards and expectations.

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Thursday, May 19 • 3:00pm - 3:15pm
Who Belongs in a “Culture of Belonging”? Envisioning CWU as a Decolonized Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Place of Belonging (Querencia)

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Central Washington University is at a moment of opportunity, where Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan are being rearticulated. Emerging from meaning-making discussions is language around “diversity,” “equity,” and notably, a “culture of belonging” as values to be centered.

This presentation argues for a mission and vision of CWU becoming the first (and leading) four-year Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Washington. This analysis draws upon Latinx pedagogy and place-based education, envisioning CWU as decolonized HSI and place of querencia. Latinx pedagogy, specifically Gina Ann Garcia’s research, offers an empirical and philosophical model for HSIs and demonstrates how supporting Latinx students centers access, equity, and outcomes for all students, especially low-income and first-generation. Querencia offers a rooted embodiment of a “culture of belonging” and place-based education for CWU’s increasingly diverse (and Latinx) student population and surrounding communities.

Envisioning CWU as HSI gives practical and cultural meaning to current, aspirational conversations of “belonging” for all CWU students by centering student supports; holistic advising; faculty diversity; decolonizing pedagogy; and serving regional communities.

Under Washington SB 5227, CWU identified DEI priorities like Motion 20-65 and lagging diversity among CWU faculty. These are best accomplished through funding and implementing unfulfilled recommendations found in the 2018 CWU HSI Initiative.

As a decolonized HSI, CWU can become a leading institution in graduating (with minimal debt and other inequitable barriers) a community of engaged, inquisitive, just, and impactful critical thinkers who both represent and make real-world changes in the diverse communities that CWU serves better than any comparable institution.


David Song

Undergraduate, Liberal Studies

avatar for Christina Torres García

Christina Torres García

Mentor, Latino & Latin American Studies (LLAS)

Thursday May 19, 2022 3:00pm - 3:15pm PDT
Student Union & Recreation Center (SURC) - Ballroom D

Attendees (2)