Madison summer program teaches Chicano history and youth identity

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- A summer program in Madison is exploring Chicano history and social justice issues in the Latinx community.

The Xicanx Institute for Education and Self Determination has been running the program for the past five summers. This year’s theme is Chicanos: Somos de aqui y de alla, meaning "we are from here and from there."

Organizers say the goal is for teens to take a trip back in time to learn more about their history, and help make change today.

"Well now I like this because I’m learning more about my culture and about my people. It's something I don't learn about in my school or anywhere else. It's enlightening seeing this come to light and to see who I am,” said student Julio Mora Blanco, one of 30 participants in the program.

This year participants dove into the history of the Chicano movement, important figures and how students can make a change in society today.

A Mexican-American studies professor led the workshop to teach new information that students can't find in the classroom. Organizers say more culturally relevant courses are needed in schools.

"Chicano studies.. African-American studies, but teaching it how it is. Not sugar coating it," Silvia Gómez de Soriano, coordinator said. "I think it's really powerful when students really learn about that because they get that passion in them. and say 'okay you know what these are injustices' but if these things are happening now, it will give them more drive to make a change."

To help support the Xicanx Institute, click the following link to donate. Organizers said donations will help buy food and supplies for the participants.