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New MSU Web site aims to help address inequality in Latin America
Published: Thursday, 10 Jun 2010
Today, Michigan State University launched a new web site to provide free and open access to research results and innovative thinking on the issues of inequality in Latin America.
An Open Education Resource, Latin America Learning (www.LatinAmericaLearning.org) is a pilot project of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at MSU. The site provides a virtual hub for collaboration and a library of material to improve understanding and to inform educators, researchers, community leaders and policy makers about the multiple manifestations of inequality in Latin America and across the globe, a concern that has far reaching impact on health, education, food, environment and the global economy.
CLACS is working with MSUglobal Learning Ventures, an entrepreneurial business unit at MSU, to develop effective practices for sharing information among scholars and practitioners. The team is using an open resource strategy--an educational learning innovation in which material is released to the public to freely share and repurpose.
"MSU fosters on-the-ground solutions and scholarship with students, faculty and colleagues around the world," said Chris Geith, assistant provost and executive director of MSUglobal. "Open Educational Resources enable us to have an even greater impact by inviting everyone to engage with us by redistributing and remixing these materials for their own purposes."
Latin America Learning is designed to expand the work of nearly 150 scholars and practitioners who participated in a two-day symposium, Regional Identity in Times of Globalization, that was held at MSU in April.
CLACS is currently inviting researchers and academics from around the world to contribute to this resource collection. Latin America Learning currently includes material produced by Michigan State University, Cornell University, Tulane University, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales of the Autonomous University of Yucatan, the Integrated Family Development System in YucatÃƒÂ¡n, CIESAS-Sureste, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Universidad Nacional AutÃƒÂ³noma de MÃƒÂ©xico and Universidade Federal da BahÃƒÂa.
"This project is particularly timely," said Robert Blake, director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. "Often overlooked, much of Latin America is on a path of democratic reformism, which and can offer aspirations for communities in parallel situations around the world."