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CI History Professor to Discuss Chicana/o Student Activism in the 1960s and ‘70s

Professor Frank P. Barajas, Ph.D., will discuss Chicana/o activism during the 1960s and ‘70s as part of the CI Fall Library Lecture Series.
Professor Frank P. Barajas, Ph.D., will discuss Chicana/o activism during the 1960s and ‘70s as part of the CI Fall Library Lecture Series. (CSU CI photo)

Hispanic men and women pursuing a higher education at CSU Channel Islands or any other college or university can thank those who fought for the chance.

“Many Ventura County educators and professionals involved in the Chicana/o Movement were students at Cal State Northridge, (then San Fernando State College); UC Santa Barbara and the community colleges of Moorpark and Ventura,” said CI Professor of History and Chicana/o Studies Frank P. Barajas, Ph.D. “They recruited siblings, relatives and friends to go to college.”

Barajas will give a presentation entitled “Chicanas and Chicanos on the Move: Student Activism in Ventura County, 1965–1975” from 6–8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at the Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula.

During his presentation, Barajas will detail some of the historic strides Chicana/o activists made through a variety of marches, demonstrations and other forms of political activism.

“We appreciate the sacrifices people make for those they know,” Barajas said. “But it’s also important to realize that people in the past struggled, and we are the beneficiaries. One example of what students fought for was equal educational opportunities in the schools and colleges of Ventura County.”

A disproportionate number of young Mexican American men in the Southwest died in the Vietnam War, Barajas said, so local Chicana/o activists joined anti-war protests that took place in Southern California.

Another powerful cause for Chicana/o student activism in the 1960s and ‘70s was realization of farmworker rights, a charge led by Cesar Chavez, president of the United Farmworkers Union.

“The students supported the farmworker movement in and out of Ventura County, especially with the citrus, grape and strawberry strikes,” Barajas said.

The presentation is part of the CI Fall Library Lecture Series. 

— Kim Gregory is a communications specialist for CSU CI.


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