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Revisiting the ’68 US Commission on Civil Rights: SA Conference
November 15, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - November 17, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
50th Anniversary of the Landmark U.S. Civil Rights Commission Hearing in San Antonio, Texas, on Mexican Americans in the U.S. Southwest
In 1968, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a landmark hearing at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, on Mexican Americans in the U.S. Southwest. That six-day hearing shined a spotlight on the social, economic and civil rights injustices suffered by an ethnic population that would later become the fastest-growing and largest “minority” population in the United States.
Fifty years later, we have witnessed the steady growth in Hispanic political representation, expanded civil rights and economic empowerment. Civil rights movements born in Texas expanded nationwide. Yet, many of the challenges facing Mexican Americans and other Latino/a populations remain unanswered in Texas and throughout the United States.
Much has changed. The U.S. Hispanic population now exceeds 57 million. A record 27.3 million Latinos were eligible to vote in 2016. Hispanics make up the youngest racial/ethnic group n the U.S. We are diverse. While Mexican Americans account for about two-thirds of Hispanics in the U.S., Hispanic/Latinos also represent growing numbers of Puerto Rican Americans, Salvadoran Americans, Cuban Americans, Dominican Americans, Guatemalan Americans and Columbian Americans. Fifty years ago, Hispanics were rare or non-existent in political leadership roles. Today, Hispanics are represented at almost every level of government service.
On Nov. 15-17, 2018, we return 50 years later to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Our goal is to examine our past and progress since the landmark hearings in Texas and explore the path forward for all Mexican American and Latino/a populations in the U.S. This conference will contribute to a new book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing and to explore issues to be addressed at this conference.
This conference will address changing civil rights, demographics, education, justice administration, economics, employment, immigration, political participation and voting rights. We will celebrate Mexican American contributions to arts and culture. Joining us will be civil rights leaders, historians and representatives of academic, civic, social justice, civil rights, arts and culture and student arenas in Texas and throughout the United States.