Mexican American Women Activists by Mary Pardo

By Mary Pardo

Tells the tales of Mexican American ladies from la neighborhoods and the way they reworked the standard difficulties they faced into political matters. via putting those women's studies on the middle of her dialogue of grassroots political activism, the writer describes gender, race, and sophistication personality of neighborhood networking.

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Page 28 For East Los Angeles and other poor communities throughout the United States, the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in Chicago in 1940 by Saul Alinsky and Catholic Bishop Shiel, became one of the nation's most influential models for political empowerment in poor communities. Alinsky believed that community organizing should build on traditional community institutions such as churches and labor unions, rather than compete with them for membership (Alinsky 1946: 101). In working-class Mexican American and other Latino communities, the Catholic Church as a local institution has tremendous potential for advocating community betterment.

Erlinda Robles provided me with a newspaper clipping referring to the women as "Marching Mothers": In honoring the "Marching Mothers," Anthony P. A. " 21 The CSO attributed its success to involving entire families. 22 The Chicano Movement: �Que Viva La Raza! The Chicano movement emerged in the context of national and international politics: the civil rights, antiwar, and feminist movements in the United States, and the decolonization movements in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Chicano student movement activists developed a more critical view of electoral politics than that of the CSO and charged that institutions such as the Catholic Church and the educational system had neglected and oppressed the Mexican American community.

Gracias also to Marta López-Garza who took time to read portions of the manuscript while she was working on her own study of immigration in Los Angeles and to Jorge Garcia who shared his books and insights with me. My irreverent friends, Tom Gonzales and Frank Metz, made me laugh about the complexity of ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identity. Talks with my comadre Irma Cross and my god daughter, Alegra, also confirmed my sense of how community context shapes ethnic identity. Thanks to all the women activists who shared their stories and "archives" with methe Mothers of East Los Angeles; Madres del Este de Los Angeles, Santa Isabel; and the Concerned Parents and Residents in Monterey Park and the City of Alhambra.

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