Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mexican American Civil Rights in Texas Bus Tour Spring Break (March 10-15, 2018)

This is so wonderful!  Taking a bus tour related to Mexican American Civil Rights history in Texas. This is such one of the best ways to learn this history.  I remember a long time ago when I was 18 years old and taking a tour with a professor and group of students along the trail of the Mexican Revolution, beginning in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico, where Father Hidalgo tolled the bells of the revolution. The class was my first exposure to Mexican scholars like Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, and literature in Spanish on the Revolution itself.

Far be it from being a mere curiosity of the past that makes taking these kinds of educational tours so important, rather they help re-root us to our landscape while answering questions regarding who we are in this world and how we are to be oriented to one another, particularly in the context of a protracted history of vexed Anglo-Mexican relations that this history illuminates.

Wish I could hop on board... :-)
-Angela Valenzuela 
Historia Chicana
22 February 2018


Mexican American Civil Rights in Texas Bus Tour 
Spring Break (March 10-15, 2018)

From: Carla Mendiola [] 
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 9:49 AM
To: Calderon, Roberto <>
Cc: Arellano, Ruben Alexander <>
Subject: Gracias & MxAmCivRtsTx Activist Speakers Inquiry
Fifty high school and middle school students and adult chaperones from the Dallas Wesley-Rankin Community Center will be traveling across the state on a Mexican American Civil Rights in Texas Bus Tour over Spring Break (March 10-15). The trip takes them from (Sat. 3/10) Dallas to Austin, to (Sun. 3/11) San Antonio, (3/12) Crystal City traveling through Alice to the Valley, (3/13) the Lower Rio Grande Valley, (3/14) Corpus Christi, (3/15) through Edna to Houston and back to Dallas.
Last year, the community center took students on the SMU Civil Rights bus tour that features African American Civil Rights activists, museums and historic sites. This year they wanted to take students on a Civil Rights tour that more closely represented their students' history.
Our state has a proud history of activism during the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. Although there are few memorialized sites of where these activities took place, the people and history are still alive and need to be shared with younger generations. The core goal of this tour is to introduce these young people to this history through meeting participants from that time period and hearing first-hand accounts of their experiences. We also want to help these students better understand those events in connection to the broader historical context of the Chicano Movement of the 1960-70s, and in connection to key events of the preceding decades and centuries that contributed to the need for the movement. The tour will include examples of cultural pride and activism as expressed through education protests, court cases, music, art, and politics. We will visit multiple sites to give the students a feel for where these historic events happened in the past and prompt them to consider how so many of those issues are still relevant today. Hopefully, by planting the seeds of historical awareness, coupled with examples of the importance of civic engagement, these students may take active roles in their community one day, too. 
I am excited about this opportunity to introduce these students to a part of their history that is often overlooked and is always inspiring. As a history professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, I also look forward to working with this younger generation and encouraging them to pursue higher education. To learn more about the Wesley-Rankin Community Center, and their programs to promote education, please see their website, .

If you, or someone you know, was an activist during the Chicano Civil Rights Movement and would be interested in talking with our group, please contact me at your earliest convenience. We hope for at least two guest speakers per city and can offer a stipend for your time. I welcome suggestions for activist speakers, their contact information, and curriculum materials appropriate for this age group (brief, visual, engaging). You can reach me, Carla Mendiola, at Gracias!

Historia Chicana
Mexican American Studies
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas


  1. Fills my heart with joy to know that this is happening. Hope this opens the floodgates of history.

  2. Fills my heart with joy to know that this is happening. Hope this opens the floodgates of history.

  3. I pray your trip is more than historical.
    We are having a Chicano Activist CONFERENCE,
    March 23 in the RGV:

    1. Thanks, Monica. It's actually not my trip. Inquiries need to be made directly to Carla Mendiola

      Happy to hear about this conference, too!

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