This project began with a simple question: Who was the first Latino student enrolled at the University of Kentucky? Through archival research, participant observation, and interviews conducted with past and present Latino students it quickly became clear that there are many important firsts in the history of Latino students at the University that deserve to be recognized and celebrated.
The resulting exhibit presents archival and contemporary photography that documents important firsts in the history of Latino Students at the University of Kentucky. The photos chosen for this exhibit focus on individual student experiences and collective student action by highlighting the firsts in our community while celebrating the diversity of experiences and identities encompassed by students of Latin American descent at the University of Kentucky. In addition to providing greater visibility to the presence and history of Latinos at the University, this project also acknowledges the power of the spaces in history that are left unknown, either because they were never recorded or because the records have not yet been found. These images remind us to nurture the culture we were raised in and translate it into our experiences navigating a post-secondary education. As the first official collection of the history of Latino students at the University of Kentucky, this exhibit helps us better understand and analyze the changing needs of this historically underserved community and encourages us all to rethink what it means to be a Wildcat.
Click here to download a brochure about this image gallery and the companion physical exhibit. An essay (The History of Latino Students at the University of Kentucky, 1865-2019) based on the research is also available online.
Exhibit and related lecture both sponsored by:
- University of Kentucky Libraries
- Department of Hispanic Studies
- College of Arts & Sciences Year of Equity Program
- UK Martin Luther King Center
Curator Bio: Daniela Gamez Salgado is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in International Studies and minoring in Business and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the University of Kentucky. On campus, she is the president of Latino Student Union, a sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. and a Gaines Fellow., For any questions regarding the visual history of Latino students at the University of Kentucky, she can be reached by email.