Nuestra Historia Matters. The fact that a majority of us across the nation did not grow up learning about Mexican American historia, is exact proof that we need to find and create spaces for representation. The weekend of August 13-14, 2021, the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) conducted their first national virtual symposium “History of Courage/Valor for Change,” which consisted of academics, community activists, and acclaimed guest speakers, and panelists from all across the nation who are working together with the same goal in mind, to teach our gente, and our nation as a whole that our narratives are just as important as everyone else’s.
In today’s world, “Latinos account now for over half of the United States population growth over the last decade,” according to MACRI Executive Director Sarah Gould, “MACRI works to preserve, collect and share the history of Mexican American civil rights, to draw connections between the past and the present, and to encourage the community to see themselves as critical participants, and creating a more equitable future.” MACRI offers weekly talks regarding history and contemporary issues, teacher training workshops guiding Social Studies teachers in the effort to incorporate Mexican Civil Rights within the classroom, will soon launch their inaugural exhibition, and is developing a digital archive where we can easily access primary resources in relation to Mexican Civil Rights.
The Honorable Joaquin Castro, US House of Representatives, was a keynote speaker addressing the lack of representation that still exists, “Culturally, we are missing from the American Landscape…I think those of us that walk around with brown skin and a Spanish surname, or however we identify as Mexican American or Latino, are walking around in our home country, the United States, and people don’t know who we are. They don’t know where we fit into the country…we are still being excluded systemically from industries.”
Dr. Gabriela Soto Laveaga of Harvard university believes every American should take a Mexican American Studies course, “If we don’t have our own narratives, others will define us. If we are left out of historical narratives, it becomes easier to exclude us in the present,” she passionately explains.
This nation does not have a single museum dedicated to Mexican American Civil Rights. MACRI hopes to change that. The time for change is now. Adelante.
To watch the symposium or other talks provided by MACRI, visit their Facebook page
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