Started at The University of Pennsylvania in 2005, the Latino Ivy League Conference (LILC) has served to advance Latino communities within the eight Ivy League Institutions--Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. The conference accomplishes this by establishing a strong network between academic institutions and students, fostering academic excellence, serving as a catalyst for the pursuit of student-identified goals, and by simultaneously upholding and challenging Latino and Latin-American culture.
Since its commencement, one of the eight sister schools has bid for the opportunity to plan, coordinate and host this highly-esteemed conference. Moreover, every Ivy League school (including the host school) is responsible for the selection of ten (Latin@) students to serve as delegates of their respective institutions. Now in 2012, it is our honor to announce that LILC is returning to Penn, from November 9th through the 11th. We as a delegation intend to build upon the deep-rooted and inspirational raices bestowed to us by our predecessors. Who through their work to create the LILC have shown us that truly, “we cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community [instead] our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” (Cesar Chavez)
We like to think of a conference theme as a vehicle for the conveyance of a purpose that may not seem plausible at first, but which, by the end of said conference, is attainable. As such, our theme for the Seventh Annual LILC is, Latinos and Music, represented by our title, Oye Mi Canto: Exploring Cultural Dissonance in the Ivy League. We recognize that music is more than the beats and rhythms to which we sway our bodies; it plays a prominent role in our economy, it has served to unify and empower those once enslaved, it provides a viable medium of self-expression, and it serves to catalyze political movements. That being said, with this theme we hope to achieve several goals such as, scholarly discourse, professional network and community resource expansion, the fostering of friendships, etc. But more broadly, we wish to address the cultural dissonance that is (arguably) rampant across the Latino Ivy League community: the new found complacency amongst historically, one of the most unstoppable and tireless minority groups.
One of the greatest take-aways from last year’s conference for our delegation was that, as a whole, our community felt the lack of activism on our campuses in spite of our endless resources, credentials and “Ivy League clout.” By the end of the conference, we want each delegate to be able to find an internal as well as a communal thread that can propel our institutions forward into advocacy. Seeing as music is the staple of any culture, including our own, we hope to use music—in its many varieties—to explore this in great depth and revive an old passion that transcends beyond the classroom.
-Diana, Adan y Fabi