Hilda Solis was the first Latina to serve as Secretary of Labor and that is just one of her many “firsts.”
She was the first member in her family to go to college, earning degrees from California State Polytechnic University and University of Southern California. She was the first Latina elected into the California State Senate in 1994 and was re-elected in 1998. Solis was the first Latina to become a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in congress and her nomination as Secretary of Labor made her the first Latina to serve in the U.S. cabinet.
Before you crack open that Corona or dip that tortilla chip in some tasty guacamole, maybe it’s time you understood what Cinco de Mayo is really all about.
Why is it that a holiday commemorating an 1862 Mexican victory over the French at Puebla is so widely celebrated in California and across the United States, when it’s scarcely observed in Mexico?
In this episode of UCLA’s Subtext, David E. Hayes-Bautista, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA, sheds some light on the origins of this annual celebration, revealing that the holiday is not Mexican at all, but rather an American one created by Latinos in California during the mid-nineteenth century.
The truth may not change your May 5th party plans, but at least you’ll know what you’re celebrating!
We’ve got pundits, too! Next up on UCTV Prime Vote is UC Berkeley’s Lisa Garcia Bedolla with As Latinos Go, So Goes the Nation, in which she argues that Republicans will never become a majority party without support from Latinos.
Professor Bedolla joins faculty from throughout the UC system who present their views on issues relevant to the next election.
Tomorrow is a holiday in the State of California. While some of us may have the day off, work will be at the top of our minds as we honor Latino labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar E. Chavez, who was born on March 31, 1927.
Chavez is an inspirational figure to so many — especially here in California, where he co-founded the organization that would become the United Farm Workers (UFW). But what inspired him to transition from farm worker to labor organizer?
Using archival footage, oral history interviews and more, the documentary “Organize! The Lessons of the Community Service Organization” looks at the pivotal grassroots effort launched in the 1940’s that empowered a generation of Mexican-Americans, including Chavez. Poor immigrants were able to move into the mainstream of American society through voter registration drives, lawsuits and legislative campaigns. Over 50 years later, the leaders of the movement reflect on the impact.
Take this opportunity to host your own Cesar Chavez Day celebration by watching the documentary. You might also want to browse around the Cesar Chavez learning resources put together by the California Departement of Education.