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Fronteras: Mexican American Civil Rights Past And Present Highlighted In Virtual Symposium

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The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) will host a two-day symposium to enlighten, educate and empower those who want to carry forward the work of civil rights pioneers.
The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) will host a two-day symposium to enlighten, educate and empower those who want to carry forward the work of civil rights pioneers.
MACRI's Interim Executive Director, Sarah Zenaida Gould, is a longtime public historian and museum worker. She serves on the boards of the Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, on the council of the American Association of State and Local History, and is an Advisor for the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
MACRI's Interim Executive Director, Sarah Zenaida Gould, is a longtime public historian and museum worker. She serves on the boards of the Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, on the council of the American Association of State and Local History, and is an Advisor for the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

The Mexican American civil rights movement is one that’s still going strong. Activists continue to fight for more equitable access to education, voting rights, work, housing and health care.

The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) is based in San Antonio, where many pioneer activists held their ground including Emma Tenayuca, Willie Velasquez and Rosie Castro. MACRI will host a virtual symposium, “History of Courage/Valor For Change,” to enlighten, educate and empower those who want to carry forward the work of civil rights visionaries.

Blending historical events with contemporary civil rights issues, MACRI’s interim Executive Director, Sarah Zenaida Gould, is hopeful the two-day event will spur conversations of how civil rights issues are not constrained by past times and still persist today.

“Right now, across the country, multiple states are impacting voting access and so this is an ongoing issue, especially for communities of color,” said Gould, who also shared concerns over backlash of ethnic studies in public school curriculum. “These are things that people have been fighting for years to diversify the way that history is taught, to diversify the points of view that you receive as a student and so the civil rights movement is not over.”

The symposium features several panels and guest speakers from across the nation such as Eduardo Díaz, interim director of the newly-established Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino; and Senator Alex Padilla, California’s former Secretary of State who was appointed to replace Vice President Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate.

The virtual events take place Aug. 13 and 14. Participants can view the full panels and sign up for events at somosmacri.org.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren