Political and Civic Engagement

Stories with interview subjects from our Political and Civic Engagement collection. Browse all stories to see subjects across all Voces collections.

Displaying 1 - 47 of 47
Table containing information and links for subjects in the site.
Subject Collection Story Interviewed by

José Aguilera

Jose Aguilera - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Brigit Benestante

As a high school student in South Texas, José Aguilera participated in a six-week walkout that was ultimately unsuccessful and resulted in him leaving school. Yet he has no regrets: The experience defined him as...

Read More

Raquel Garza

Albert Alvarez

 

Political & Civic Engagement

By Dylan Nikoletopoulos

Albert Alvarez did not have to make any compromises to become mayor of Pearsall, Texas. He knew exactly why he wanted to do it and had the background and name recognition to help get him elected.

His...

Read More

Dylan Nikoletopoulos

Adolfo Alvarez

Adolfo Alvarez  

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Jacob Martella

Coming back from the Korean War, Adolfo Alvarez knew he had to do something with his life.

He had survived nine months along the 38th Parallel holding the line against the North Koreans, not knowing if he would...

Read More

Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Felicita Munguia Arriaga

Felicita Munguia Arriaga - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Hope Teel

In 1959, Felicita Munguia Arriaga was a 12-year-old accompanying her mother to the polls, where the older woman planned to cast her vote for a man named Joe Hubenak.

Very few Hispanics were voting during that time...

Read More

Hope Teel

Modesto Arriaga

Modesto Arriaga - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Faith Daniel

Modesto Arriaga was playing baseball with his church team, the Rosenberg Lions, when a police car pulled up and asked for one of his teammates to go with them. Later, the other boys would learn that the ballplayer’s...

Read More

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Gonzalo Barrientos

Gonzalo Barrientos  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Ashley Mastervich

As one of the first Mexican Americans to represent Travis County in the Texas House of Representatives and Senate, Gonzalo Barrientos Jr. was part of the first wave of Latino officials who led the way for minority...

Read More

Ashley Mastervich

Antonio Becerra

Antonio Becerra  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Martin do Nascimento

Antonio Becerra has always found a way to remain steadfast, persistent and determined in the face of adversity - first as a Mexican American growing up in rural Texas in the 1920s and '30s, then as a German prisoner...

Read More

Martin Do Nascimento

Joe David Casillas

Joe (left kneeling down).  The picture was taken early in 1946 at Scott, Field, in Villerville, Illinois-now called Scott Airforce.  The abbreviation Tele Type Mechanic (T.T.M.) 426.  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Nora Ramirez

World War II is over, but the fight against discrimination is far from finished for Joe Casillas, a WWII veteran who lives in San Diego.

His father, Felix Ledesma Casillas, was a migrant worker who came from Jalisco,...

Read More

Rene Zambrano

Paul Cedillo

 

Political & Civic Engagement

By Vinicio Sinta

One evening during the early 1970s, a crowd much larger than the usual Latino activists who periodically met in Rosenberg, Texas, poured into the local A.W. Jackson Elementary School to listen to a speech by Congresswoman...

Read More

Miguel Gutierrez

Adrienne Cervantez

Adrienne Cervantez  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Doug Waters

Growing up in Dilley, Texas, Adrienne Cervantez (nee Garcia) hated two things: politics and fried cow intestines, or tripas.

A lot of her childhood was spent campaigning for her parents, and backyard barbecues were a...

Read More

Mr. Douglas Michael Waters

Olga Tobías Charles

Olga Tobías Charles - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Voces Staff

In the spring of 1970, Olga Charles was a senior at Uvalde High School in South Texas. With just a few weeks before graduation, she was preparing to follow her mother’s career advice: Go to business school and become a...

Read More

Anna Casey

Hector De Peña

Hector De Peña  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Anita Rice

Hector De Peña never saw any action on the battlefield during World War II. He never stormed the beach at Normandy, never liberated the prisoners of Europe's concentration camps and never fired upon the Japanese or Germans....

Read More

Karla Gonzalez

Rosalio Rabbit Duran

Rosalio\Rabbit\"Duran"  

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Katy Lutz

Rabbit's Lounge was a dimly-lit, tiny bar that boycotted Budweiser while serving up some of the coldest beer in Austin, Texas. It might have seemed a very unlikely candidate for the Austin hub of Chicano politics in the early...

Read More

Katy Lutz

Charlie Ericksen

Charlie Ericksen, interviewed at the Voces Oral History Project office, University of Texas at Austin on February 27, 2010.  

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Jordan Strassner

Charlie Ericksen spent most of his adult life creating a strong bond with Mexican-Americans, writing news stories and columns about them, and advocating for better treatment for that community.

During his career,...

Read More

Frank Trejo

Mary Espiritu

 

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Rebecca Millner

In more than 40 years of service, Mary Espiritu De Leon received at least 45 awards and honors, recognizing her commitment to San Antonio's Latino community, and especially its women.

Her role as a spokeswoman and...

Read More

Stephen Casanova

Iris Galvan

Iris Galvan - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Rebecca Chavoya

An old Hispanic man pushed a tamale cart down the streets of Rosenberg, Texas, in 1974. Iris Galvan, 18-year-old high school student and member of Juventud Unida, approached him with a warm, welcoming demeanor....

Read More

Rebecca Chavoya

Carolyn Jean Garcia

Carolyn Garcia  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Alexandra Cannon

Carolyn Garcia has lived by the words her father shared with her when she was only a child: "God gave you a voice. And if you don't talk for yourself or for others, then what good was it that he gave you a voice? You...

Read More

Alexandra Cannon

Josué "George" Garza

Josué George Garza - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Taylor Gantt

In 1970, George Garza was a popular middle school teacher in Uvalde, Texas. But when the school board repeatedly declined to renew his contract, he became a central figure in a six-week school walkout that changed the...

Read More

Prakriti Bhardwaj

Margaret Juárez Gómez

Margaret Gomez - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By the Voces staff

Margaret J. Gómez credits her early political awareness to her father. He was a Mexican immigrant with little education, but he closely followed political and world events.

“He read the newspaper from cover...

Read More

Arnold Garcia

Jack Greenberg

 

Political & Civic Engagement

By Samantha Gallion

Jack Greenberg had been working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for 17 years in 1966, when he received repeated requests from Mexican Americans and Native Americans.

“We had a...

Read More

Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Lencho Hernandez

Lencho Hernandez  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Paige More

Retired labor organizer Lawrence "Lencho" Hernandez is still haunted by his elementary school principal's big green disciplinary paddle. That paddle would snap him in a direction that he would later regret.

"I had...

Read More

Paige More

Ed Idar

Portrait of Ed Idar.  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Liliana Martinez

When Ed Idar was a teenager living in Buenos Aires, a neighborhood in Laredo, Texas, he never thought he’d volunteer as a civilian for Station X in England, and go to India and China while in the Army.

"I came to...

Read More

Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Albert Henry Kauffman

Al Kauffman  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Amayeli Arnal-Reveles

Al Kauffman's middle-class background, attending segregated schools in Galveston, Texas, might not have seemed to prepare him for a role in Mexican American civil rights. But other aspects of his life - he was a...

Read More

Amayeli Arnal-Reveles

George J Korbel

George Korbel  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Vinicio Sinta

For George Joseph Korbel, going back to Pearsall, Texas, a city about 55 miles southwest of San Antonio, unearthed memories of a time when Mexican American and black Texans were almost completely excluded from the...

Read More

Mr. Vinicio Sinta

Teresa Lozano Long

Teresa Lozano Long  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Lindsay Fitzpatrick

Growing up on her parents’ dairy farm in South Texas, Teresa Lozano Long learned the importance of education and philanthropy early in life.

“My parents believed that you went to school everyday,” Lozano Long...

Read More

Brenda Sendejo

Frances Luna

Frances Luna  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Joan Vinson

Politics in small-town Texas were very different when Frances Luna was young. Back in the days of the poll tax, politicians would offer to cover the fee to encourage local residents to vote for them.

Luna said that when...

Read More

Joan Vinson

Emily Matilda Martinez Alvarado

Emily Alvarado was interviewed by the VOCES Oral History Project in Denver, Colorado on August 9, 2010. Photo by Michelle Lojewski.  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Jasmine Powell

Emily Martinez Alvarado never served her country in the military. She served it at home, as one of the thousands involved in the Chicano movement, by way of the Crusade for Justice, and as an important civil rights...

Read More

Michelle Lojewski

Alberto Torres Millan

 

Political & Civic Engagement

By Allison Banks

Having lived the tough life of a miner, Alberto Millan didn’t want his oldest son, Robert, to follow in his footsteps. So when Robert informed him he wanted to be a miner and a union leader, Millan told him no.

In...

Read More

Robert Rivas

Richard Armand Moya

 

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Alsha Khan

In the late 1960s, Richard Moya, an investigator with Legal Aid, was having lunch with two of his best friends - who also worked in anti-poverty programs - at Johnny Boy's Hamburgers. The topic: how tough it was to help their...

Read More

Aisha Khan

Ruben Munguia

Ruben Munguia  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Guillermo X. Garcia

Ruben Mungia, a career printer, laughs as he recalls "how smart the U.S. Army was" to let him join the service in the middle of World War II, only to assign him to Randolph Field in San Antonio, his hometown, where...

Read More

Martha Treviño

Harriet Murphy

 

Political & Civic Engagement Read More Autumn Caviness

Wilfred Navarro

Wilfred Navarro  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Brittany Wilson

After getting discharged from the Navy in 1948, Wilfred Navarro, Jr. returned to his hometown of Houston. He finished high school and decided he’d like to be a police officer. But first, he and other Latino veterans would...

Read More

Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda

Manuela Maymie Garcia Ontiveros

Manuela Maymie Garcia Ontiveros  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Carrie Nelson

Manuela Ontiveros dedicated her life to her family and community and to preserving her treasured Mexican heritage and traditions.

"You instill in your children and grandchildren pride [in their heritage]," Ontiveros...

Read More

Raul Garcia

Carlota Ayala Ortega

Carlota Ayala Ortega  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Angela Walker

Dr. Carlota Ayala-Ortega sits proudly by as husband Guadalupe Ortega recalls his memories from World War II.

Guadalupe recalls the time the owner of a museum learned of his many medals earned in combat, and told him "...

Read More

Gloria Monita

Henry Oyama

Henry Oyama  

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Lauren Harrity, California State University, Fullerton

After growing up in a Spanish-speaking Japanese-American family in Tucson, Arizona, Henry "Hank" Oyama went on to be a tireless supporter of bilingual education for American children...

Read More

Taylor Peterson

Elvia O. Pérez

Elvia O. Perez - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By the Voces staff

Elvia Pérez’s senior year in high school was turned upside down when she joined a student walkout to protest the firing of a popular Hispanic teacher.

Pérez, then 17, had been a top student....

Read More

Reina Olivas

Bob Perkins

Bob Perkins  

Political & Civic Engagement

By José Andrés Araiza

Bob Perkins spent 36 years as an elected judge in Travis County. Perkins attributes his strong ties to the Mexican-American community as one facet for his worldview; this group was his main base...

Read More

Jose Araiza

Sergio Porras

Sergio Porras - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Chris Touma

Two years before Sergio Porras received his draft notice to serve in the Vietnam War, he was marching in the streets of Uvalde, Texas, with hundreds of other Mexican-American high school students.

It wasn’t war...

Read More

Brigit Benestante

James Ramirez

James Ramirez  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Britini Shaw

James Ramirez remembers a time when Mexican- American communities held dances to pay for the poll tax in Austin. He would ask himself, "Why do people have to pay to vote when it's their constitutional right?"

By the...

Read More

Britini Shaw

Rolando L. Rios

Rolando Rios  

Vietnam, Political & Civic Engagement

By Jess Brown

It was the summer of 1952. Leo Rios, a cab driver, was shot dead by a passenger he had just picked up on the streets of San Antonio, Texas. His wife, Teresa Hernandez, was left with a broken heart to nurse and three daughters...

Read More

Jessica Brown

Francisco Robledo

Francisco Robledo  

Political & Civic Engagement

Interview by Anderson Boyd

Former Frio County Justice of the Peace Francisco Robledo hadn't questioned why the social order in Pearsall, Texas, was as it was. But a meeting at his children's school snapped him out of complacency.

Two...

Read More

Anderson Boyd

Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza

Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Megan Breckenridge

Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza became the first minority district clerk of Travis County in 1991 and only the second minority woman to hold that position in the whole country. She went on to serve for 24 years, championing...

Read More

Megan Breckenridge

Alma Hernandez Salinas

Alma Salinas  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Estefanía de León

Alma Salinas, a lifelong Democrat, switched to the nascent Raza Unida Party in the 1970s. A native of Pearsall, Texas, Salinas used to take Mexican Americans to the polls on election days....

Read More

Neyda Estefania de Leon

Velia Erlinda Sanchez-Ruiz

Velia Sanchez-Ruiz  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Rachel Hill

Voter participation was always a priority for former gym teacher Velia Sanchez-Ruiz, who grew up under segregation in Texas. Sanchez-Ruiz, who was 71 at the time of her interview, recalled what life was like as she grew up in...

Read More

Rachel Hill

Alfredo R. Santos

Alfredo Santos - Voces Oral History Project  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Brigit Benestante

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Alfredo Santos was ashamed of his ethnicity.

“I didn’t like being a Mexican,” he said. “I was embarrassed, I guess, to be a Mexican.”

His...

Read More

Anna Casey

Yolanda T Trevino

Yolanda Trevino  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Stacie Richard

When Yolanda Treviño graduated from Pearsall High School in 1959, she was determined to make her life elsewhere. The racism of the small town was too confining.

"I left Pearsall...

Read More

Stacie Richard

Lupe Uresti

Lupe Uresti  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Shelby Custer

In December of 1975, Guadalupe Arredondo Uresti, a 31-year-old homemaker, spoke at a kick-off rally for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in the old Civic Center of Rosenberg, southwest of Houston.

...

Read More

Shelby Custer