On October 30, 1986 a meeting was held at Roberto Clemente Community Academy by University of Illinois administrators to explain and justify the new admission requirements for undergraduate admissions. Over 1000 concerned parents, students and community members confronted University of Illinois officials chanting “Open the Doors of U of I”.
The community was trying to drive home the message that their communities were systematically being denied access to higher education. Result of this meeting was a series of meetings held by UIC officials, parents and community members on the issues of Hispanic student access and retention at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This activity led to the creation of the report “Declining Minority Access to Higher Education”. Spurned by the recent community outcry and the findings of the report, on June 30, 1987 the Senate Joint Resolution 72 created a Joint Committee on Minority Access to Higher Education, Co-Chaired by Senator Miguel del Valle. One of the committee’s main functions was to analyze the Chicago public schools’ college preparation programs and course offerings and their relationship to the proposed undergraduate admissions changes that the Illinois Board of Higher Education sought to implement by 1993. A series of public hearings were held throughout Illinois from November of 1987 through December 1988. A final report was generated and a series of recommendations were made.
Today, ILACHE continues to serve as an action oriented, independent advocacy group for Latinos in higher education in the areas of access and equity as it relates to employment, admissions, and legislation in the state of Illinois. Through our annual conference, ILACHE provides public forums to provide networking opportunities to Latino higher education professionals, and to create advocacy agendas, share best practices, and to explore new ways of affecting legislative and university policies. Striving for inclusion and voice, ILACHE continues to advocate for the needs of the Latino community and provides a statewide forum for dialogue on issues in higher education.