The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative

Message from the Director

The launch of the Latino Research Institute is a milestone in the history of Mexican American studies at The University of Texas at Austin. In recent decades, the Center for Mexican American Studies has grown from a small interdisciplinary program to a national leader in the field. With the addition of the Latino Research Institute, we are now 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.

The Latino Research Institute is starting strong with the launch of three major grants to study health issues that disproportionately impact Latino communities in South Texas. We look forward to expanding our presence in Central Texas and beyond through the launch of our fellowship program, the development of a comprehensive research archive, and the strengthening of relationships in support of the Latino 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