Mexicana, Chicana and Latina activists have a long history of community activism to promote educational, economic and social reform in the Southwestern United States. To learn more about this history, the community is welcome to attend “Mexicana/Chicana/Latina Activism and Leadership: An Historical Overview,” a Sunday Speaker Series presentation featuring Maritza De La Trinidad, April 7 at 2 p.m. at the Museum of South Texas History. This presentation will highlight the various ways Mexicana, Chicana and Latina activists participated, led, and provided the leadership for various campaigns to improve conditions for Mexicanx/Chicanx communities.

In Texas, as early as the 1830s, Mexicana and Tejana women advocated for Catholic schools to serve children in their communities. In the 20th century, activists such as Jovita Idar, Adela Sloss Vento, Emma Tenayuca and Gloria Anzaldua highlighted injustices and discrimination through their writings, social criticism and labor activism. In the late 1960s, young Chicanas organized and participated in high school walkouts to contest segregated and inferior public education. These walkouts began in in Los Angeles, California, and also occurred in Edcouch-Elsa and Crystal City, Texas. Most recently Mexicanas and Chicanas played key roles in communities through local organizations such as La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).

De La Trinidad received her doctorate’s degree in history from the University of Arizona. She is an associate professor of Mexican-American Studies and history at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Mexican-American Studies, civil rights and educational history. Her area of expertise and research is Mexican-American history in the Southwest and U.S.-Mexican Borderlands including Mexican-American/Chicanx education, bilingual education, desegregation lawsuits, civil rights and Mexican American/Chicana women's activism and leadership.

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.