Chicana/o/x Studies

About Us

In 1977 a group of students of Mexican ancestry who identified as Chicana/os in recognition of their unique social, cultural and political identities joined forces with a Chicano Art Professor, Rubén Trejo, to establish the Chicano Education Program. Since its creation, this program has served as an academic and community center for students and their families. Today, the Chicana/o/x Studies Program, as is known, provides services for students of all backgrounds: Chicanx, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latinx, immigrant, migrant, Caribbean, Central American, South American, non-Latinx, and beyond. Our program offers academic and non-academic support services both in English and Spanish, such as advising, peer mentorship, and tutoring opportunities, culturally relevant events, scholarship information, and a home away from home. Welcome to your space! (Bienvenidos!)

Chicana/o/x Minor Events Scholarships

College Assistance Migrant Program (C.A.M.P.)

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Speaking Out in Support

June 10, 2020

We, the directors of the four Diversity Programs at EWU, write to express our grief and outrage at the recent state-sanctioned killings of so many Black people.We join multitudes of others nationally and internationally in protest and demand an end to anti-Black police and state violence.We have been reeling from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, and then we got hit with this terrifying upsurge in state violence. Some have suggested these are two different crises, but we know better.

The pandemic and this surge in racist violence are both deeply rooted in a history of white supremacy that values white lives and property above all else.We know this nation was founded in Indigenous genocide and dispossession, built through Black enslavement, and developed via the exploitation of immigrant labor –those oppressive structures are not just our past, but very much our present.This moment is revealing these truths for many beyond our QTBIPOC communities.

We are inspired by the outpouring of solidarity and resistance across the globe, the country, and right here in Spokane. As educators, we are particularly moved by the youth who are acting with brilliance and courage. We are at a tipping point and they are unrelenting in their demands for true social transformation. In this historic moment, we are putting all of our collective weight on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s long “arc of the moral universe” to bend it more quickly toward justice.

Deirdre Almeida, PhD, Director, American Indian Studies
Scott Finnie, PhD, Director, Africana Studies
Nydia Martinez, PhD, Director, Chicana/o/x Studies
Judy Rohrer, PhD, Director, Women’s and Gender Studies

Dear Eagle Community,

Last week I received a letter written by an AsianAmerican student expressing fears and concerns in the midst of COVID-19. Anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, dislike or prejudice against people from other countries, worldwide are on the rise. Frequent occurrences of people publicly referring to COVID 19 as the “Wuhan” or “China Virus” has fueled the flames of hate crimes, and racist language targeted against Asian Americans. Last March, a Korean woman was punched in the face and grabbed by her hair, and parents in K-12 schools are reporting an increase in bullying and racist taunts toward Asian students. On May 8, 2020, United Nations Secretary-General stated, “the pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of hate, xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering” and urged governments to act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate.

It is deeply concerning when Eastern students are afraid to leave their rooms or to express thoughts in class for fear of retaliation. Students have also reported pointed fingers, laughing taunts and evil looks by their peers. I want to reassure our Asian American and Pacific Islander students that they are an important and necessary part of the EWU Community. Their presence on campus is always welcome and encouraged. EWU believes diversity is a value to our community and critical to our scholastic endeavors.

If students feel in danger at any time, they are urged to contact the EWU Police Department immediately.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if we may be of support or a resource to students, faculty and staff in addressing these issues. Eagles are “all in” and must continue acting with grace to foster a culture of respect, inclusivity, commitment and honesty, and celebrate diversity.

Shari Clarke, PhD

Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

Dial 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress

For non-emergency police assistance: 509.359.7676

EWU Spokane Campus, dial 509.358.7995

Office phone (during business hours): 509.359.6498

Students who have any fears, concerns or apprehensions, or just want to talk with someone are urged to contact:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Cheney Campus: 509.359.2366

EWU Spokane: 509.838.1398

Dean of Students

509.359.7924 |

Multicultural Center

509.359.4004 | 

Office for Diversity & Inclusion

509.359.4705 |

Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies

509.359.2847 |

Pride Center

509.359.7870 |

In addition, Pui-Yan Lam, PhD, Professor of Sociology, is offering her expertise for faculty seeking additional resources, including workshop presentations presented last spring for K-12 educators and parents. She may be contacted at


Director's Welcome

Nydia Martinez, PhD

With gratitude, we acknowledge and appreciate that our program resides within the traditional homelands of Indigenous peoples. We honor the activism of all peoples of color and many other movements for social justice that paved the way before us. Today, we are continuing a legacy of over 40 years of being an academic and community center of advocacy for students and their families. We continue to strive to be an integral part of the Chicanx (Latinx) experience at EWU as an example of cultural resilience and political engagement. We address issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration, culture, intersectionality, and much more. In addition, we serve as a community center where we offer a variety of support services in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, such as advising, peer mentorship, scholarship information, cultural events, a kitchen, a student lounge, and above all a welcoming family for everyone. We thank all who made and are making the success of our program possible. With this gratitude and excitement, I welcome everyone to our Chicana/o/x Studies Program at Eastern Washington University!  (¡Todos son bienvenidos!)

Contact Us | Contáctenos


The Chicana/o/x Studies Program has a dual mission at Eastern Washington University. The program’s first mission is to actively contribute to enhancing the opportunity and participation of Chicanos/Latinos in higher education. This mission is achieved by actively recruiting and supporting Chicano/Latino students to have a positive and successful academic career.

A parallel CHST mission is to contribute to EWU’s goal of addressing diversity, by providing all students, regardless of ethnicity, with a Chicana/o/x Studies curriculum leading to a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the Chicano/Latino community and relevant issues. CHST is committed to staging initiatives that adhere to and meet its dual mission. The Chicana/o/x Studies Program is divided structurally into three distinct program components. These include recruitment, student support services, and other CHST activities.

The Chicana/o/x Education Program’s student recruitment efforts are focused on various activities aimed at encouraging Chicano/Latino students to pursue higher educational opportunities at EWU. Specific recruitment activities include: visiting high schools and community colleges, staging university base student visitations, participating in educational and community career fairs, using the Spanish media (radio, television, and newspapers) to disseminate information about educational opportunities at EWU, networking with Chicano/Latino community organizations and other recruitment focused initiatives.

For more information, email

The Chicana/o/x Studies Program provides a variety of academic and non-academic support services benefiting students. Academic services include advising, guidance towards scholarship information, mentorship opportunities, cultural-based initiatives, linkages for tutoring needs and a college orientation class. CHST also assists students to become familiar with university regulations and practices and advocates on the students’ behalf with other university departments and offices.

The Chicana/o/x Studies Program maintains contact with both the Chicano and non-Chicano communities throughout the state of Washington. The program’s outreach efforts include seminars, lectures, cultural and art exhibitions for both the community on campus and surrounding area.

On the national level, the Chicana/o/x Studies Program actively participates with the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies, an organization which promotes research relevant to the Chicano community.

Community Organizations

Hispanic Business Professional Association LogoThe mission of HBPA is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. We serve the community, organizations, businesses, and students. For over 20 years, HBPA has been serving Spokane and the Inland Northwest youth by providing scholarships, resources, and acknowledgment to students of color. With the collaboration of Eastern Washington University- Chicanx Studies Program, HBPA and Chicanx Studies will bring Spokane a student engagement mentorship program for students of color, young and returning professionals. The Hispanic Leadership program has been developed to provide guidance, mentor, support students, young professionals, and returning professionals.

HBPA Website

HBPA Facebook (Bilingual)

We are a non-profit Civil Association constituted with a goal to contribute to conservation, diffusion and development of the culture, crafts, uses, customs, music, dance, gastronomy, art, and the languages of the indigenous people of Mexico.

IICEM Website

IICEM logo

The Latino Hope Foundation’s scholarship fund supports Latino students attending Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Washington State University-Spokane, University of Washington-Spokane, Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College through financial support and mentorship through their full journey in earning their degree or vocation.

In an effort  to strengthen and foster understanding and appreciation of the Latino community, Latino Hope Foundation hosts events in Spokane that educate the community about the Latino culture and heritage through the arts, music, cultural celebrations and sharing of the historical contributions Latinos have made building our country and our communities.

Latino Hope Foundation Website

Latino Hope Foundation Facebook

Latino Hope Foundation

Mujeres in Action Logo

We believe that all women can embrace their identity, define their future and change the world.

Welcome to MiA – Women in Action! We are a non-profit organization committed to supporting and advocating for victims of domestic violence and / or sexual assault in the Spokane area. For some time now, we have noticed the lack of resources, information and tools in Spanish about these issues of domestic violence. So we want to create a bridge between the Latino community and the community resources in our city.

Mujeres in Action Website (Spanish Only)

Mujeres in Action Facebook (Spanish only)

Miguel Gonzales is a photographer and graphic artist born in San Antonio, TX and now living in Spokane. He explores Mexican American biculturalism through combining photography and illustration, and also curates —the only online marketplace in Eastern Washington for Latinx arts & culture.

In addition to helping build a creative Latinx community, Gonzales is producing and showing his own works. He recently teamed up with Jeni Hegsted at Coeur d’Alene’s Emerge Gallery to create Nuestro Esperanza, Nuestro Futura , a show that explored the hopes and dreams of Latinx artists in the Pacific Northwest.

Visit Miguel’s website for more information:

Miguel Gonzales

Planned Parenthood fights to ensure that all people have access to high-quality and affordable health care, regardless of race, income, geography, immigration status or gender identity — no matter what. That is why Planned Parenthood’s Raíz program is committed to breaking down barriers in accessing health care in the Latinx community. The Raíz program is about more than just health. It’s about justice, knowledge, and power.

Planned Parenthood Raiz Website

Planned Parenthood Raiz Facebook (Bilingual)

Planned Parenthood Raiz Logo

Chicana/o/x Studies Program is partnering with Alex Gibilisco, City Council Manager of Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, and Lisa Gardner, City Council Director of Communications + Community Engagement to bring job experience to our EWU students in form of an internship.

This internship and partnership is important so we allow students of diverse backgrounds see them selves in policy making roles, learn about organizational change through equity perspectives and to also see there are opportunities in the City of Spokane that align with their passions.  Equity work is broad and can be applied in any of the expert fields we work in from neighborhood planning, environmental sustainability, to budgeting, housing and homeless.   It is an opportunity for students to work with diverse stakeholders and to understand the needs and functions of the city. Any questions regarding the internship, please contact Alex Gibilisco at or Lisa Gardner at .

Spokane City Council Facebook Page

Official City of Spokane Seal

Partnering with Sherwin-Williams in Spokane, they are looking for bilingual (English and Spanish) students to enter their internship programs and work for in their local branches for hands-on experience. For more information contact:

  • Eric Anderson, District Manager
  • Phone: 509.467.0530
  • Email:

EWU's Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative

As a regional public university, EWU reaches out to all diverse populations of our region. We strive to be a welcoming, friendly place for all students.

One of our strategic planning initiatives is to work toward the federal designation of a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). For an institution to qualify as an HSI, it must have at least a 25% Latinx/Hispanic student population. Our stretch goal is to be designated an HSI by 2023. Receiving this designation could provide EWU with access to resources that will benefit the entire student body. However, much more importantly, the extensive planning work on this initiative is helping us identify opportunities and challenges not only for the fastest growing population in our state but also for all prospective and current students.

A Hispanic Serving Institution is defined by federal law as an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.

If you are curious to learn more about Eastern Washington University’s Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative including; their objectives, committee information, and more, please visit their webpage.

EWU HSI Webpage


Eastern Stories

Chicana/o/x Featured News

Latina activist fights to expand resources to immigrant and undocumented community

Last summer, Lili Navarrete spent her weekends under 100-degree weather for several hours straight in rural towns across Washington so she could provide health care assistance to farmworkers and Latinos whose needs were largely ignored as the pandemic loomed over their communities.

Navarrete, forty-three, recalls feeling drained from working over ninety hours a week on average alongside a team operating a mobile clinic during the late summer and fall months. Despite her weariness, she never hesitated to help wherever she could. 

“Just seeing the appreciation of the community and hearing them say ‘mil gracias’ because they’d been put aside for so long,” she says, “that to us was all we needed to continue.”

Navarrete works as the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, which based in Spokane, and the manager for Raíz, the organization’s outreach program for the Latino community. She had been working to address health disparities among the Latino community before the pandemic hit, but once it did, it magnified the existing health disparities and inequities. This prompted her to apply for a grant that would allow Raíz to fund a mobile clinic….

The Chicana/o/x Studies Program at Eastern Washington University provides a home away from home for many students. The founders of the Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment—a group of alumni, faculty, staff and community members—say it was the social engagement and strong relationships they found within the program that made their experiences unforgettable. They established this scholarship fund to ensure future generations of Eastern students have the opportunity to earn a degree in that same environment.

Current EWU seniors Elsa Chávez and Gloria Bravo also cherish the home they’ve found in the Chicana/o/x Studies Program. Elsa is double majoring in political science and Spanish, but says she found the support she needed when she started taking classes for a Chicana/o/x Studies minor.

As a first-generation student, it was really important to me that I find support,” Elsa says. “It can be difficult for anyone, especially people of color, to find the kind of support they need. There are definitely groups on campus who are actively working to provide support and safe spaces for us.”

Gloria is majoring in international affairs with a socio-economic concentration, while also minoring in Chicana/o/x Studies and Spanish. She says she couldn’t imagine tackling that kind of class load without a support system.

“The first time I entered the program’s office I had a deep sense of being at home,” Gloria says. “The people who make up Chicana/o/x Studies truly care for their students’ success. They want students to graduate, but more importantly, they want students to have the skills that will make them capable of succeeding both in the job market and life.”

The Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment will not only help strengthen the community so many students depend on, it will also provide the critical scholarship dollars students need to pay for tuition, books, housing and food during these challenging times. A donation to the Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment can help more students like Elsa and Gloria reach their dreams. The fund is less than $3,000 away from reaching endowment, which means your gift on GivingTuesday can be the one that finishes it off!

On 06/29/2020 A Candlelight Vigil was held for undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients who had lost their lives, and to remember their struggles. Multiple people shared their stories and it is powerful, please take a moment to watch and listen. Thank you Raiz of Planned Parenthood for the video.

For 26-year-old Sarahi Gutierrez the struggle to wade through attacks on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals seems never-ending.

“Every time we wake up there is always some news about immigrants or DACA or something Trump said or did that harms immigrant communities,” said Gutierrez, a DACA recipient who first came to the U.S. with her family around 1998 at age 5. “It’s just a continuous struggle.”

A month ago, the future for DACA recipients like Gutierrez brightened as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld challenges to the Trump administration’s plan to terminate it. On Tuesday it darkened again as acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf announced the program will not accept new applications and will require current recipients to renew their applications yearly instead of every two years…

Lili Navarrete in a traditional latino garb
Candle Light Vigil
Sarahi Daca Article

Giving to the Program

As a program, we welcome any type of support that will help us provide opportunities for the academic and personal success of our students. If you or your institution/organization are interested in giving a gift, donations are accepted through the EWU Foundation and are tax-deductible.

To make a donation online, you can give through our secure online giving site.

To make a donation by mail, please write “Chicano and Chicana Studies Program” on the message line and mail to:

EWU Foundation
Hargreaves Hall 102
Cheney, WA 99004