Nov. 21, 2019 — The UTSA Libraries and Policy Studies Center along with community partners, including Academia America and Our Lady of the Lake University, are sponsoring and hosting the National Chicano Student Walkouts Conference in San Antonio this week.
The three-day event examines the history and lasting impact of Chicano student walkouts in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The conference brings together the striking activists, faculty, researchers, community leaders and students to reflect, analyze and assess the impact that the protests had on the improvement of educational and economic opportunities for Mexican Americans.
Starting in 1968, thousands of Chicano students in South Texas and across the Southwest United States walked out of their high schools, challenging structural inequities that affected their education. In San Antonio, students at Edgewood High School and Lanier High School took to the streets to demand equitable funding, elimination of racist policies and curricula, and improvement of dilapidated facilities. These young activists seeded the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans in San Antonio, fighting for equity along with social and educational change.
⇒ Learn more about the National Chicano Student Walkouts Conference.
“The conference commemorates the 50th anniversary of the walkouts, many of which happened here on the Near West Side of San Antonio, close to the UTSA Downtown Campus,” said Roger Enriquez, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UTSA Policy Studies Center. “It aligns perfectly with mission of our center to be a resource to those that share our goal of enhancing the quality of life of historically underserved populations. Even though these events happened 50 years ago, they still are very important today. Many point to the walkouts as seminal events in the rise of the Chicano movement.”
UTSA is hosting the first and third days of the National Chicano Student Walkouts Conference in the Durango Building on the Downtown Campus. The event features a variety of participants representing UTSA. On Thursday at Our Lady of the Lake University, Carmen Tafolla, UTSA professor emeritus and former poet laureate of Texas, will speak on the history of education for Mexican Americans in Texas.
On Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Durango Building professor of demography Rogelio Saenz will speak about demographic changes over the past 50 years. On Friday at 3:00 p.m. Lilliana Saldaña, associate professor of bicultural-bilingual studies and director of Mexican American studies, will participate in a panel discussing the politics of education.
UTSA Libraries staff will assist in collecting oral histories from walkout participants, adding to the fast-growing collection of materials focused on Mexican American civil rights and activism.
“The Chicano walkouts are an integral piece of our shared history here in South Texas—a history that USTA Libraries is proud to help record for generations to come,” said Dean Hendrix, dean of libraries at UTSA.
The conference will also feature multiple cultural events, including a student art exhibit, featuring the works of K-12 students from around Texas that honor the students who protested educational inequities. The exhibit is located in the La Villita Room of the Durango Building on the Downtown Campus.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Emerging artists work in the full range of traditional methods and materials as well as in interdisciplinary and new media. Themes range from social and cultural critique to investigations that are challenging and exquisite explorations in creative form and image.UTSA Art Gallery, Arts Building, Main Campus
Juan Vallejo’s art conveys his experience as a childhood migrant worker. Opening reception: Thurs, Dec. 5, 6–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.UTSA Terminal 136, Blue Star Arts Complex, 136 Blue St., San Antonio
Portions of Cook Road will be closed for construction related to the new Student Success Center project and Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalk upgrades.Cook Road, Main Campus
Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. A remarkable true experience, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. UTSA partners with The Public Theater for this event. Contact the theater at (210) 458-3288 for scheduling requests.Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus
Forty-six modular units will be delivered to Main Campus as part of the new Student Success Center project. The units will enter campus at Brennan Avenue and will travel to their final destination, south of the North Paseo Building and Graduate School and Research Building via Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road and Devine Avenue.Brennan Avenue, Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road, Devine Avenue, Main Campus
Enjoy two classic holiday performances. Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will present two of The Nutcracker. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church will perform a traditional Pastorela play, a morality tale about shepherds going to Bethlehem and the snares the devil uses to dissuade them. Performances are included with regular ITC admission.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio
Celebrating graduating students from the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Guest speaker: Susan Pape '86, chairman of the San Antonio Express-News.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
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