Local HBCU creates new program to increase Latinx enrollment

Local News

Richmond, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Union University and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber have teamed up to create a new program aimed towards Hispanic minorities striving for higher education.

VUU and VHC announced their partnership in front of the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial at the State Capitol on Friday morning. They have collaborated to bring a new Latin Studies program to the university.

“We begin to rebrand Historically Black Colleges and Universities as Historically Black Culturally Diverse Universities,” Virginia Union President Dr. Hakim Lucas said.

The partnership is an exclusive, five-year relationship to enhance and promote diversity on the campus, while also giving other minorities higher educational opportunities. The proposed Latin Studies program already has its dean, Dr. Ingrid Bircann-Barkey, in place.

“Latinos, Latinas and any other student are now able to reach for bigger things in their life,” Dr. Ingrid Bircann-Barkey said.

Hispanic students are the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the nation, according to the university. That’s why for students like sophomore Denise Perez, it was a no-brainer to sign up for the program.

“I can become a double major and can give me a platform where I can graduate with two degrees,” Perez said. “From here, I can use that U.S – Latin Studies [degree] to go to law school to help with immigration, DACA.”

The program is open for enrollment for Fall 2020.

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