Austin

Arturo Madrid


By: Voces Staff

Jaime Chahin


By: Voces Staff

Jaime Chahin is an advocate for educational equality in Texas. He was the lead witness in the LULAC v Richards case in 1987 that dealt with educational inequality in the South Texas/Border region. He is now a Dean at Texas State College; he has spent his life encouraging, inspiring and prompting minority men and women to live beyond their expectations and assisting them as they pursue higher educational opportunities. 

Norma Cantú


By: Voces Staff

Eddie Cavazos


By: Voces Staff

Jesse Herrera


By the Voces Staff

Jesse Herrera grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a working-class neighborhood where many of his peers went straight from high school to jobs in the steel mills.

That wasn't the future he wanted for himself. But he didn't know anyone who had gone to college. "It was alien to me," he said. The Vietnam War was underway, but Herrera didn't want to wait to be drafted, which meant he'd go right to the Army. "The Navy appealed to my sense of adventure" and offered a chance to see the world, he said.

Paz Peña


By Wes Hamilton

Paz Peña was a small-town kid in every way. Growing up in Mathis, Texas, he was the oldest of four siblings and always felt destined to leave his town to make an impact in the world.

Vilma Martinez


By Carlos Devora

From working as a lawyer to serving as president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund to being appointed ambassador to Argentina, Vilma Martinez has been a trailblazer.

Her work has helped bring down discriminatory laws and expand the political power of Latinos.

She has accomplished this even in the face of racial and gender discrimination.

Alejandro M. Lizárraga


The late 1940s and 1950s were tense times in America. Fear of Communism was spreading, and Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union were growing. In 1950, communist North Korea sent troops into South Korea, and the U.S. came to South Korea’s aid, in accordance with its treaty obligation. President Harry S. Truman declared a national emergency: From 1950 through 1953, 1.5 million men were drafted and another 1.3 million volunteered for military service.

Margaret Juárez Gómez


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 to cover every day,” she said. “A lot of times, he knew a lot more about what was going on in the world than I did, so when I got home from work, he would talk to me about what was going on."

Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza


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 the causes of Latina women, women's health and the arts.

She launched her career in politics as a 24-year-old in 1970, when she ran for president of the Mexican American Youth Organization. She finished second behind Paul Velez, but that was enough to make her vice president.