UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures presents civil rights panels April 16

civil rights marchers

UTSA community members participate in San Antonio’s Martin Luther King March.

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(April 8, 2013) -- The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures and the UTSA Department of History will present a pair of panel discussions on civil rights 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 16. The panels are free and open to the public.

>> In a first for the museum, the panels will be video-streamed live to the University Center Ballroom (1.106) on the Main Campus and to the Buena Vista Street Building Assembly Room (1.138) on the Downtown Campus.

The civil rights panels will address the current state of civil rights for the common citizen and for various minorities such as immigrants, LGBTQ, and the disabled. Additionally, the panels will include representatives of the Native American, Asian, African-American and Hispanic communities to outline their work toward civil rights.

"Our intention is to provide people with the opportunity to learn more about and exchange ideas on civil and human rights issues," said Gabriela Gonzalez, UTSA associate professor of history and visiting scholar at the Institute of Texan Cultures. "We have invited deeply committed scholars and activists familiar with inter-connected civil and human rights movements. In presenting these different perspectives, we further the university's commitment to diversity."

As the panel discussions were conceptualized, questions defining the issue were presented: What are rights? Who deserves rights? How have rights been defined historically? How are they defined today? How has having or not having rights influenced economic, political and social outcomes for various groups of people?

"Panel discussions like this put the museum's mission into action," said Lupita Barrera, director of education and interpretation at the ITC. "The Institute of Texan Cultures is a forum for the understanding and appreciation of Texas and Texans. These are real issues challenging segments of our population. This is an opportunity to hear from experts in the field as they outline the current state of affairs and project the future challenges and successes we will face as society advances."

Previously, the museum hosted a border ethics panel in conjunction with the UTSA Department of Philosophy and Classics. The discussion drew on input from academia, law enforcement, the faith community, media and people directly impacted by the issue.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.