Indigenous and Diasporic Language Consortium (IDLC)

The Indigenous and Diasporic Language Consortium (IDLC) is a pilot project between Columbia University, New York University and the Institute of Mexican Studies of Lehman, through which UG and grad students from each institution may cross-register for less commonly taught language (LCTL) classes in indigenous or diasporic languages. This project, currently in its planning stages, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and The New York City Consortium for Latin American Studies (NYCCLAS), a cooperative effort between the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) of Columbia University (CU) and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (NYU), both leaders in National Resource Centers of the U.S. Department of Education. The languages under the project are Mixtec, Nahuatl, Krèyol, and Kichwa/Quechua (already offered at NYU).

Sharing a city with 3.1 million immigrants—37% of the city’s total population—we recognize that these “Newest New Yorkers,” as the 2103 City report names them, are both new constituents and powerful resources for area studies awareness, teaching, and learning. Through our K-12, post-secondary, and broader public outreach, the Consortium has developed models for engaging communities from the LAC region—who make up fully half of NYC’s foreign-born population—as new citizens with distinct needs for area studies knowledge on one hand, and with the ability to contribute to our larger communities of learning on the other. Educators who teach foreign-born students have sought increased information about the students’ countries of origin—which in New York are: the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, and El Salvador, in numeric order. Prompted in part by the changing demographics of our city and its new populations and a consequent rise in the need to engage and provide services for native speakers of Mixtec, Nahuatl, Krèyol, and Kichwa/Quechua, the creation of the IDLC will allow us to offer Mixtec at Lehman College, Krèyol and Quechua at NYU; and Nahuatl at CU. As part of this initiative, all three schools will aim to integrate LCTL study into existing majors, minors, and certificate degrees in LAS and, at Lehman, in Mexican studies. We hope that the success of this project will allow the Consortium to expand and offer additional languages.

We have created a page with information on classes and other resources.  Please click here to visit the page.