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Joyner Library to celebrate Latino leadership in eastern North Carolina

GREENVILLE   (Apr. 6, 2011)   —   J.Y. Joyner Library at East Carolina University will celebrate “Latino Leadership in eastern North Carolina: Launching an Oral History Archive” on Sunday, April 10.

Joyner Library and the North Carolina Humanities Council will host a panel featuring members of the Latino community of eastern North Carolina who hold positions ranging from formally recognized leadership to informal influence in the lives of Latino youth. Panel participants have a variety of national and occupational backgrounds, including professional, entrepreneurial, technical, and working class trades. 

Designed to be a frank discussion about Latino leadership in eastern North Carolina and the many challenges facing this new and rapidly growing population, the event will be held 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in conference room 2409 at Joyner Library and is free and open to the public.

“The Celebrating Latino Leadership project represents a unique opportunity to bring to light the often invisible experiences of Latinos in North Carolina,” said Dr. Ricardo Contreras of ECU’s Department of Anthropology. “These are the accounts of people who have struggled to succeed in their different activities and who have been able to make significant contributions not only to their own constituents but to society at large.”

As a highlight of the event, representatives of Joyner library will showcase a new archive of panel participants’ oral histories collected by Contreras and David Griffith, a faculty member in the Anthropology department and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy.

“North Carolina’s growing Latino population represents a dynamic cultural treasure for the state,” Griffith said, “and the North Carolina Humanities Council recognizes that Latinos have poignant and important stories to share and celebrate.”

This archive will be housed at Joyner library and its online version will feature digital voice recordings, transcriptions, English summaries of the oral histories, and other materials related to the Latino presence in the state.

“Joyner Library is delighted to participate in this important oral history project,” said Maury York, assistant director for Special Collections. “The interviews, which will be preserved in the Special Collections Department and made available through the Digital Collections repository, document the growing importance of the Latino population in eastern North Carolina. They will be quite useful to researchers now and in the future.”

It is hoped that, in time, the archive will serve as a reservoir for Latino oral historical materials throughout North Carolina and the Southeastern United States, York said.


Contact: Jeannine Hutson | 252-328-1164