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Illustration by Tracy Sabin
Illustration by Tracy Sabin
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The Cultural Champion

Eduardo Diaz was appointed last November to lead the Smithsonian Latino Center with a $3 million budget for coordinating cultural programs and exhibits nationwide. Previously, he was executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M., the country’s leading venue for the study, presentation and advancement of Hispanic culture. He graduated in 1972 with a degree in Latin American Studies.

What is the most common misperception about the Latino culture?

The diversity of cultures within the Latino community is underestimated and under-appreciated. People assume it’s homogeneous and monolithic, but that’s not the case. We opened a show in Albuquerque about the Asian connection, particularly to Mexico. Another exhibit traced the connection between the Latino and the African cultures. The Smithsonian Latino Center responds to strident calls from inside and outside the Smithsonian Institution to expand the incorporation of the Latino experience into its programs and services. We want
to ensure that the American experience includes all of our diverse communities. My task, in a nutshell, is to strengthen the Latino presence institutionally at the Smithsonian.

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MULTIMEDIA

"I Believe" 30 second spot
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Shot throughout San Diego County, the spot features various community members repeating parts of the "I Believe That We Will Win" chant. Along the way, energy builds as the chant is joined by famous Aztecs such as Ralph Rubio and Mayor Jerry Sanders.

also inside 360 Magazine

Spring 2012 360 Magazine
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