|In front of the building next to the Morning Star House across from Holland Hall, you can now see the sign for the Oakwood Latino Association. Technically, it is not an “office,” it’s a place for the Latino population on campus to call a “home away from home. The students have named this place where they gather to pray, socialize, and share their favorite dishes, “La Casita,” which in the Spanish language means “the little house.” For many years, the building was used by Office of Regional Conference Ministries.|
|The Oakwood Latino Association (OLA) officially started in 2010 with the purpose to support the Latino community at Oakwood University. The mission was to provide information and services, and to prepare the students to depart to serve. There were four officers at that time. Isaac Ibarra became the first president of OLA, while he was serving as the Spanish coordinator for the Office of Spiritual Life and Enrollment. Dr. Francisco Burgos, then a professor of Spanish in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, acted as the secretary. The advisors were Dr. Ciro Sepúlveda, then chair of the Department of History and Political Science, and Dr. Octavio Ramírez, professor of Social Work.|
About two years ago, Oakwood President Dr. Leslie Pollard and the Administration took OLA to the next level, providing La Casita and many other initiatives to demonstrate that Oakwood University is a place of diversity and Inclusion.
Next time you drive by La Casita and see cars in the parking lot, feel free to stop by and witness the transformation that God is doing in the lives of the Latino students.