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Center for Latin American & Latino Studies

  • Emergent Challenges for Latin American Economies
  • Reconfiguration of Elites and Power in Central America
  • Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America
  • CONACULTA Partnership
  • Latino Entrepreneurs in the DC Metro Area
  • Cuba Initiative

About Us

The Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, established in January 2010, is a campus-wide initiative advancing and disseminating state-of-the-art research. Our faculty affiliates and partners are at the forefront of efforts to understand economic development, democratic governance, cultural diversity and change, peace and diplomacy, health, education and environmental well-being. CLALS generates high quality, timely analysis on these and other issues in partnership with researchers and practitioners from AU and beyond.

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CLALS Receives National Science Foundation Workshop Grant

With asylum applications from Central American children and families on the rise, CLALS has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to convene a workshop to discuss how social science research can inform judicial decision-making on these complex cases. The Fall 2016 workshop will bring together leading social scientists with expertise on the conditions driving migration and on the psycho-social impacts of the migration experience, with legal scholars who specialize in refugee and asylum law. The objective is to share insights across disciplinary perspectives in order to enhance scholarship and better inform lawyers and other practitioners working with Central American migrants. The initiative will be led by CLALS Director Eric Hershberg and Washington College of Law Professor Jayesh Rathod. Learn more about the workshop

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CLALS in the News

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Matthew Taylor, professor in the School of International Service and CLALS affiliate, spoke to National Post about the political, economic, and public health challenges Brazil faces as it gears up for the 2016 Olympic Games. “This is a triple-whammy,” Taylor said. “Put together, those three things are unprecedented, certainly in the last 30 years of democracy.”

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AU News

An American flag made up in part of photos of people's faces An American flag made up in part of photos of people's faces

The Washington College of Law (WCL) is offering for the first time in Spanish the online course "Introducción al Derecho Migratorio de los EE.UU." (Introduction to U.S. Immigration Law). This web-based program is designed to familiarize the international community with the structure and operations of the U.S. immigration system, including work and family visas, humanitarian protections, and the deportation process. The course is directed by Professor Jayesh Rathod, an expert in immigration law and Director of the WCL's Immigration Justice Clinic (Clínica Jurídica de Justicia Inmigrante) at American University.

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Grant Highlights

AU's Office of the Provost has awarded CLALS a Faculty Research Support Grant to launch a pilot study of the school integration experiences of resettled migrant youth in the DC-metro area.

The Henry Luce Foundation has provided $425,000 in renewed support for CLALS to conduct a two-year project on religion and climate change in cross-regional perspective.

The Christopher Reynolds Foundation has renewed its support for the Center's Cuba Initiative, which focuses on U.S.-Cuban relations, economic reform, and health.

CLALS has received a $670,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to carry out research to assess the transnational criminal capacity of the MS-13 gang in the U.S. and El Salvador.