The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Latino Research Institute:

The Latino Research Institute remains committed to its active research studies, which are currently in progress in various parts of central and south Texas. All in-person research activities have been suspended, but data collection and other research activities will continue to take place online and via telephone and video conference. The work of our dedicated researchers will remain important to the health and well-being of the Latino community long after this pandemic makes its way across the globe. The virus’ path is indiscriminate, but communities of color will arguably bear the greatest burden as society continues to function on the backs of those who have no option but to continue working. The research we produce today will be there for these communities tomorrow, as we continue to challenge systemic inequities that leave the Latino community most vulnerable during global crises.

A Message from the Director

The launch of the Latino Research Institute a few years ago was a milestone in the history of Latino Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Over five decades, our presence at UT has grown from a single unit offering courses on Mexican American topics to three interconnected units that work together as a nationally-recognized powerhouse in the field. As part of Latino Studies at UT, the Latino Research Institute is poised to become a national leader in research and policy about issues affecting Latinos. About two out of every five people in Texas, and one out of every six people in the United States, are Latino. What happens to Latinos happens to the nation. Our physical, economic, and cultural well-being is critical to the well-being of the United States as a whole.

Sound policy starts with good information. The mission of the Latino Research Institute is to provide the infrastructure for the creation and dissemination of quality information about issues affecting Latino populations in the region, state, and nation. We serve as a resource for communities, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

In just a few years, we've launched several major grants to study health issues that disproportionately impact Latino communities in South Texas. We've begun expanding our presence in Central Texas, launched a competitive fellowship program and a first-of-its-kind summer training institute for intersectional qualitative researchers, developed an impressive body of research on topics like immigration, women's and mental health, and education, and strengthened vital relationships in the greater Austin community.

I am honored to serve as the inaugural director of the Latino Research Institute and I welcome you to join me in shaping a healthy, vibrant future through research.

--Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina


LRI Trainee Survey

Interested in helping out with the community research projects that are constantly in motion at the Latino Research Institute? Request more info by clicking above and filling out the form. We'll be in touch! 

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