Political & Civic Engagement

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

Jose Angel Gutierrez


By: Voces Staff

Renato R. Ramirez


By: Voces Staff

Diana Fernandez


Diana Fernandez was born in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She grew up in a newly developed, integrated neighbored designed to serve people working at the Navy base. Pursuing higher education was not a continuous topic of discussion in Fernandez’s household but it was expected of her and her two sisters. Living in an integrated neighborhood allowed Fernandez to also experience that same integration in the classroom at Incarnate Word Academy. The all-girl school included students from nearby cities.

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. 

Ward Albro


By: Voces Staff

Mark Escamilla


By: Voces Staff

Stanley Bittinger


By: Voces Staff

Jaime Palacios


By: Voces Staff

Jaime Palacios was the first of three children, born in San Juan, Texas on November 15, 1960, to Berta (Saenz) and Hector ‘Tito’ Palacios. From an early age, Palacios looked to his parents for guidance on education. After graduating from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in 1979, Palacios weighed his options: he could join the military, or play football or baseball. Eventually, his mom convinced him to stay in the Valley and start school at a Pan American University in Edinburg.