Women Writing History: Preserving Latinx Community Histories
Saturday, May 19 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: San Diego History Center
Tickets: Free SDCH Members; $5 General Admission
Join us for a panel discussion and book-signing with three local authors working hard to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of previous generations—the people, neighborhoods, and spaces that contribute to San Diego’s rich layers of history.
Maria Garcia, author of La Neighbor: A History of a Settlement House
Rita Sanchez, Co-Editor of Chicana Tributes: Activist Women of the Civil Rights Movement
Barbara Zaragoza, author of Fronterizos: A History of the Spanish-speaking People of the South Bay, San Diego
Includes light reception with book-signing (after panel discussion)
4:30 pm check-in begins
5:00 pm program begins
Maria Garcia is a retired school principal and educator who has received many awards for her community activism and for efforts at preserving Chicanx community history. Maria’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. The San Diego Union-Tribune selected her as a Latino Champion recently. In 2015 Senator Ben Hueso recognized her with an Outstanding Woman of the Year award. She received a Save Our Heritage Organization “People in Preservation Award” in 2016 as well as inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame in the Cultural/Historian category. In 2017, she received a prestigious Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for “La Neighbor” as well as the Citizen of the Year Award from the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the professional educational honor association. Her book uses 56 personal interviews in which individuals remember their associations with Neighborhood House, a Progressive Era settlement house, in the working class and predominately Mexican American community of Logan Heights. The series spans the time period from World War I to the early 1970s. These richly detailed interviews provide insight into a specific San Diego community whose geographical boundaries shift over the course of the series. They also reflect the impact of national events — times of war and peace, economic deprivation and post-war booms, changing social mores and the shift from Progressive Era policies and philosophy to those of the Great Society and Urban Renewal upon the residents of Logan Heights.
Rita Sanchez is an educator, activist, writer, mentor, mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, compañera, and lifelong advocate of the Chicana/ Chicano experience. As the seventh of 11 children, Sanchez graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1956 and was one of the first Mexican Americans to go to college where she majored in Journalism at San Jose State University. She earned her BA and MA in English at Stanford University in 1974, and then, as a Ford Foundation Fellow, went on to pursue her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of California, San Diego. From 1974-1984, she taught in the Mexican American Studies Department at San Diego State University. She is currently professor emerita from San Diego Mesa College, where she has been teaching since 1990. She was the keynote speaker at the Gracia Molina de Pick Feminist Lecture series. Her title consisted of her journey as a Chicana in a presentation called “Writing as a Revolutionary Act”. In 2010 Rita was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame as Activist, at the Women’s Museum of California. In 2013, she joined the SDSU Committee Chicana: Past, Present, Future, proposed a Tribute Wall with photographs and biographies honoring Mexican American women who had contributed to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, bringing change to their communities. In 2014, she began working on Chicana Tributes. She invited as her co-author Chicana activist Sonia Lopez who taught the first Chicana course at SDSU. Chicana Tributes honors and introduces over sixty women who as women of strength–Mujeres de Fuerza–have changed the world
Barbara Zaragoza is a border historian and freelance writer. She holds a Master’s degree in history from Harvard University and has published many articles and books, including San Ysidro and the Tijuana River Valley. She is a board member of the South Bay Historical Society and the Chula Vista Heritage Museum. Her book, Fronterizos: A History of the Spanish-speaking People of the South Bay, San Diego, has also been turned into an exhibit. The exhibit displays approximately 100 photos and some artifacts in sixteen cases. This two-year project undertaken by local historian Barbara Zaragoza includes a website that displays 50 interviews of locals and more than 2,000 archival photographs.