Austin

Yajaira Rangel


By: Voces Staff

Yajaira Rangel, an elementary school teacher in Mesquite, Texas, has had to figure out how to teach her students online during the COVID-19 pandemic. She says the pandemic has impacted her financially, mentally and professionally. 
 

Richard Soto


By Voces Staff

In 1966, Richard Soto of Tracy, California, should have rotated off with his surgical team from a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam. Instead, he stayed on, going AWOL, feeling an obligation to incoming casualties.“I told the doctor that I was working with, ‘I’m not going home.’ He says, ‘Well ... when they come to investigate, I’ll tell them you were here,’” Soto said. “I think he knew there was going to be a court-martial.” But Soto was not court-martialed; he was honorably discharged in 1968.

Mario Lewis


In high school in El Paso, TX, Mario Lewis was told to forget college, that he “could not compete with Anglos,” recalled Lewis, a Mexican American. But others saw promise in Lewis as he became active in the Junior League of United Latin American Citizens, which put him on a path to law school and a career of service to equal justice. Lewis was born Feb. 15, 1947, in El Paso, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1970. Three years later, he graduated from the University of Southern California Law School.

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.