By Leonard Rodriguez
This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and wom- en have positively influenced the face of United States so- ciety. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.
Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales
A product of a Denver barrio, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was born in 1929. Before emerging as one of the co-founders of La Raza Unida, he served as a coor- dinator for the ‘Viva Kennedy” campaigns and on President Johnson’s War on Poverty Cru- sade. Leaving the Democratic party, Gonzales returned to the barrio where he organized La Crusada Para La Justicia. As the Hispanic community awakened to social inequalities during the late ‘60s, Gonzales and La Crusada sponsored the First Chicano Youth Liberation Organization in 1969.
It was here that Gonzales emerged as a leading spokesman and gave the Mexican American movement a name- Los Chicanos, a country- Aztlan, and, a cry- “Por la raza todo, fuera de la raza nada. “