The Alianza Latina/Latino Alliance

For CWRU faculty and staff members

The purpose of the group is to bring together Hispanic/Latino faculty and staff from across the campus for cultural awareness, friendship, student recruitment and retention and public service. All, regardless of race or ethnicity, are invited to join the group.


Alianza Latina/Latino Alliance meetings are held online every other Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. To attend, please email Damaris Puñales-Alpízar or any officer listed below for the Zoom link. 

Do you have suggestions for projects, activities or speakers? Submit your ideas!


Damaris Punalese Alpizar

Damaris Puñales-Alpízar, PhD

Executive Sponsor
Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


Liana Carroll

Office of Undergraduate Admission

Francisca García-Cobián Richter, Ph.D.

Francisca García-Cobián Richter, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Diana L. Ramírez-Bergeron, PhD

Associate Professor Department of Medicine

Dawn Ellis

Dawn Ellis, MA

Department Assistant, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Our Mission:

Our group promotes inclusion and diversity within Case Western Reserve University and our local community. We aim to voice the values, achievements, and concerns of our Hispanic/Latino faculty and staff members and to work with Hispanic students’ organizations such as La Alianza and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) to increase recruitment and retention of our Latino student population. We also work with Hispanic and Latino organizations and groups outside the university to build bridges of collaboration and to promote cultural diversity and public service.

In the last few years, the Latino population has grown quite significantly at CWRU. Our university’s classrooms now have more Latino students, as well as students of Latino descent, than at any previous time. Our goal is to help this increasing population thrive, fulfill their professional dreams, and feel welcomed and at home at Case Western Reserve University while at the same time enhancing the performance and opportunities of our Latino staff and faculty.

One of our main missions is to share the richness of the Latino culture among our colleagues and students and allow our CWRU community to enjoy and admire its diversity. We also aim to build a bridge between our university and the Hispanic community established in Cleveland and surrounding areas to increase cooperation and explore opportunities to work together. We hope to attract more Hispanic students from our neighboring communities to CWRU, to attract and retain Latino staff and faculty, and facilitate the participation of our Latino community in  Cleveland’s local Hispanic activities and programs.

With that in mind, our group promotes a culture of understanding, respect and recognition of what this diversity brings into our life and into human and professional growth. 

 All, regardless of race or ethnicity, are invited to join the group.

Our History:

 Our group started back in 2013 when some faculty and staff from Case Western Reserve University saw the need for an organization to advocate for Latino issues, and to increase recruitment, retention, visibility, and success of our Latino students, and Latino staff and faculty. 

We started as a group that would meet once in a while to talk about issues concerning our community. We grew steadily and established strong connections not only with other Latino students’ groups within the university community -such as La Alianza and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers- but also beyond the borders of our campus, with organizations such as HOLA (a group devoted to protect and help immigrants of Hispanic origin in Northeast Ohio; and Esperanza, Inc. (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of Hispanic educational achievement). We have been devoted to sharing with the rest of the university community the work of Latino students, staff, and faculty.

 We have worked to increase the number of Latino students accepted and registered at our institution. In 2013, CWRU had only 232 students of Hispanic/Latino origin, which constituted 5% of the total student population. Today we have about 469 students who identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino, 11% of the undergraduate student community. 

Alianza has been able to put together great cultural and social justice events in coordination with many other organizations and entities. In 2020, despite the coronavirus, we were able to put together 17 events for Hispanic Heritage Month including talks about the impact of the coronavirus in the Hispanic community; the importance of the Latino vote; DACA students; Latinos in the Sciences; Dismantling Anti-Blackness in the Latino community; a 3-day students conference; and a permanent virtual art show, among others.

We build on the shoulders of all people who have worked at different moments to organize with us, and who have opened the paths and the growth of our group. To all of them, we thank you.



Provides education, support and scholarships to Northeast Ohio, Hispanic students as well as their families through proven, measurable programs and passionate staff and leadership. The mission of Esperanza is to improve the academic achievement of Hispanics in Greater Cleveland by supporting students to graduate high school and promoting post-secondary educational attainment.

Hispanic Alliance inc. (HAi)

A nonprofit organization providing support, advocacy and resources to member organizations. HAi's membership is comprised of businesses, agencies, institutions and social service providers who work directly with Latino communities throughout Ohio and neighboring states.


Small, grassroots Latino organization based in NE Ohio focusing on Latino Outreach, Advocacy and Community Organizing.

Prospanica Cleveland

The Cleveland chapter of Prospanica seeks to further develop the Northeast Ohio community by providing a professional business network in order to promote economic, professional and philanthropic advancement.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

An association of institutions committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. This association helps promote the development of member colleges and universities, and improve access to and quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students.

Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine

A magazine that covers news, events and trends that affect multicultural institutions.

Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center

Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1989 by Daisy Rivera and the combined efforts of the Cultural Educational Institute for Boricua Advancement (CEIBA) and the Hispanic Parents Union. These organizations united to realize a longtime dream of establishing a family-oriented center to serve Latino youth and their families through programs and activities designed to foster cultural pride and art appreciation.