The Latino Policy Institute Looks To Expand Efforts Nationally

Belén Dumont


The Latino Policy Institute (LPI) at Roger Williams University is set to transition to an independent research and advocacy organization starting July 1, leaving the Bristol-based university after 17 years of operation. 

The institute announced its departure on April 24 as the organization looks to expand its education, research, and advocacy work on a national level. 

“LPI has shaped public policy discourse by objectively researching and communicating the evolving Latino experience in Rhode Island for the past 17 years,” the institute shared in a press release. “With the move towards independence, LPI is excited to explore new opportunities for impact and continue its critical work toward greater social, political, and economic equity for the country’s growing Latino community.”  

The organization plans to offer additional consulting, reporting, and advising projects that amplify and support the needs of diverse Latino communities across the country.

“During its partnership with Roger Williams University, LPI has been instrumental in shaping policy decisions related to important issues such as health disparities, driving privileges for undocumented immigrants, and housing for Latinos in Rhode Island,” shared LPI Executive Director Marcela Betancur. “As LPI sets its sights on national impact, it is excited to continue collaborating with Roger Williams University and other higher education institutions on research and projects that serve the Latino community.”

Founded in 2005, the institute moved to RWU’s Providence campus in 2009. LPI’s new offices will be in the Olneyville neighborhood, according to Betancur.

“Roger Williams University is proud to have been a partner of the Latino Policy Institute, which has made a tremendous impact through its work and continues to serve as the leading voice of education and advocacy on the most important issues facing Latinos in Rhode Island,” commented RWU President Ioannis N. Miaoulis. “While LPI is ready to start moving in new and independent ways, we still look forward to continuing to partner with them on research and projects that serve Rhode Island and the Latino community.”