The Latino Research and Policy Center (LRPC) was founded on July 1, 1997 and is currently housed in the Colorado School of Public Health (ColdoraoSPH). Our offices are located on the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), downtown campus. Our center is considered a “think and act tank.”
The LRPC was founded upon the demise of the Colorado Hispanic Institute (CHI: 1986-1996) which operated at CU Denver and at two other Denver colleges. CHI board members decided to establish a Latino “think tank.” Dr. Fernie Baca, then a vice chancellor at CU Denver, brought CU Boulder sociologist Dr. Estevan Flores to Denver to establish the center.
Dr. Flores, the first center director, provided intellectual and strategic guidance while focusing the center on Latino issues in health, education, and immigration. Dr. Flores brought a social action research model (Flores, 1983) to the center so that research would positively impact the community it studied (Flores, 1984) and not be purely academic.
Following Dr. Flores (director) leadership, Christine Johnson (director) lead the center, followed by Josette G. Harris, PhD (interim director), then by Evelinn Borrayo, PhD (director), next Fernando Holguin, MD (director). The LRPC is currently led by interim director Patricia Valverde, PhD, MPH.
As originally envisioned, we continue to focus on the well-being of Latino communities.