April 3, 1971: Fresno Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War. Pictured above: Parlier

Third Annual Chicano History Revisited Symposium

By Eddie Varela and Jose Luis Barraza

Concilio de Fresno, Inc., is hosting the Third Annual Symposium of Chicano History Revisited of Fresno County on August 29 at the Sal Mosqueda Community Center. El Concilio de Fresno is a nonprofit, social justice and advocacy organization.

The purpose of the symposium is to identify and document the legacy of the Chicano Movement in Fresno County. This year, the overarching theme of the symposium is titled, “Voces de La Raza (Voices of the Chicano Community).” Two outstanding panels will be convened. The first panel, titled “Raza Cultura,” will address the roles of teatro, art, music and poetry in the Fresno County Chicano Movement. Anticipated panel members in order of topic presentation include Augustine Lira, Ernie Palomino, Delia Salas and Leonard Adame.

The second panel, titled “El Grito,” will address the roles of print, television and radio media in the Fresno County Chicano Movement. Anticipated panel members in order of topic presentation include Tom Uribes, Sylvia Astorga Salcido and Hugo Morales.

Two successful symposiums have been held to date, and the movers and shakers, activists and advocates of the era have participated by offering insight to the pressing issues, challenges and strategies that gave impetus to what is commonly called the Chicano Movement in Fresno County. A key component of the Chicano History Revisited Symposium is to collect oral and video histories, documents, photographs and related documentation that capture the spirit, intensity, passion and commitment of individuals and organizations that were at the forefront of the struggle to bring about social justice for Chicanos in all structures of community life.

The result of this outstanding body of advocacy and activism gave rise to a Fresno County Chicano movement that broke down barriers, opened doors of opportunity and asserted a right to participate in societal benefits. Eddie Varela, president and CEO of El Concilio de Fresno, said, “We cannot take for granted the social justice struggle of those that came before us. We have a social compact to be vigilant and ensure a place at the table for the many that are yet to come. Chicano History Revisited of Fresno County reminds us of the difficult challenges that were overcome and of the unfinished social justice agenda that is yet to be realized.”

For more information, contact Varela at 559-360-9797 or eddiev@elconciliodefreno.org, Jose Luis Barraza at 559-577-5660 or joseluis_barraza@att.net, or Gloria Hernandez at 559-250-2434 or lwapgh@aol.com.

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Eddie Varela is the president and CEO of El Concilio de Fresno, Inc. Jose Luis Barraza is on the boards of El Concilio de Fresno and the Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association (SEFCEDA).

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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