University of California, Santa Barbara Acquires the Papers of a Leader of the Chicana Movement

Leader of the Chicana MovementThe University of California, Santa Barbara has announced that the papers of Alicia Escalante, a Chicana civil rights activist, have been acquired by the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at the university’s library.

Escalante founded the East Los Angeles Welfare Rights Organization in 1967 and participated in and led many of the important protests of the Chicana Movement of the 1960s.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Escalante came to Los Angeles as an adolescent during World War II. She became a single mother of five children and sought to help out others who were in a similar situation.

Salvador Güereña, director of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives said that Escalante was an “unsung hero willing to put her life on the line. Alicia was astute to understand the importance of working across different organizations to create partnerships and create powerful alliances that it would take to move this big stone wheel. People like her knew how important it was to create that positive social change that would be so difficult to do without partnering with other organizations and other leaders.”

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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