J. Richard Avena

Preface Contributor

Born in Salt Lake City and raised in El Paso, began his federal career at the Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service as a translator and on occasion wrote speeches for Members of Congress. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear in Mississippi. He was the only Mexican American on the march. In 1968 he came to San Antonio to help the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights direct the hearings held on civil rights issues facing Mexican Americans in the Southwest. In 1986 he retired as the Southwest Regional Director. He served as the first Mexican American Executive Director of the Texas Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). From 2006-2013 he taught a course on U.S. Immigration Law and Policy at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. He has a BA Degree in Government from the George Washington University.

Robert Brischetto

Preface & Introduction

Was a professor at University of Texas at El Paso, Our Lady of the Lake University and Trinity University from 1970 to 1982. In 1982 he joined William C. Velasquez at the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project as director of research. There he established the Southwest Voter Research Institute (SVRI) and served as its executive director from 1986 to 1995. In recognition of his work at SVRI, he received the 1992 National Award for Sociological Practice from the Society for Applied Sociology. The director of the Bureau of the Census asked him to establish a Census Information Center at SVRI for minority researchers and organizations to access 1990 Census data. He has served as expert witness in more than 40 voting rights cases throughout the Southwestern U.S. He is also author of more than ten dozen academic and popular publications throughout his career. His M.A. (1970) and Ph.D. (1975) in sociology are from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rogelio Sáenz

The Latino Population of Texas

Is professor in the Department of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  He has written extensively in the areas of demography, Latina/os, race and ethnic relations, inequality, immigration, public policy, and social justice. Sáenz is co-author of the book titled Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change and co-editor of The International Handbook of the Demography of Race and Ethnicity

In 2018, he received the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity for his work in support of workers’ rights and humanitarian issues.  In 2020, Sáenz received the prestigious Saber es Poder Academic Excellence Award in Mexican American Studies from the University of Arizona’s Department of Mexican American Studies, an honor that recognizes an outstanding scholar whose work has demonstrated long-term commitment for advancing the field.  He is a regular contributor of op-ed essays for outlets throughout the country.

Lee J. Teran

Civil Rights and Immigration

Retired in 2017 as a clinical professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law and director of the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic. She is a 1975 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law and licensed to practice law in Texas. She testified before the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights in 1978 on immigration concerns in South Texas. She was co-director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She litigated numerous civil rights cases on behalf of immigrants and refugees and is the recipient of the 2009 Excellence in Legal Service Award from MALDEF, The Elmer Fried teaching Award in 2004 from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Jack Wasserman Litigation Award in 1992, the 1990 Carol King Award from the National Immigration Project, and the Pro Bono and Professional Responsibility Award from the American Bar Association Section on Litigation in 1989.

Jose Roberto Juarez, Jr.

Mexican American Voting Rights in Texas

Is Dean and Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law. He previously was a law professor and director of the Lawyering in Spanish program at the University of Denver, where he served as dean from 2006 to 2009. He is a former staff attorney at the San Antonio and Los Angeles offices of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and a former professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. He is board chair of the Council on Religion and the Law, and is Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work in voting rights, employment and discrimination, history, and law and religion. He received the MALDEF Excellence in Legal Service Award in 2016, and was named one of the Top 100 Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Magazine in 2006. Juárez holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Ernest Herrera, staff attorney at the Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), assisted in this chapter. He holds a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Henry Flores

Voter Discrimination in Texas

Distinguished University Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, served an expert in voting rights litigation, providing reports in more than thirty voting rights cases. He was St. Mary’s University graduate school dean and chair of graduate programs in both public administration and political science. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Mary’s University for his contributions and continuing dedication to Latino voting rights issues. He is co-author of Mexican Americans and the Law: ¡el Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido! (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2004); and, the author of Latinos and the Voting Rights Act: The Search for Racial Purpose (New York, NY: Lexington Press-Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) and Racism, Latinos and the Public Policy Process (New York, NY: Lexington Press, 2019). He holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science.

Kevin Morris

Barriers to the Ballot Box

Is a quantitative researcher with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, where he analyzes voting rights and elections. His research focuses on the impact of laws and policies on access to the polls, with a particular focus on rights restoration and voter list maintenance. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Morris worked as an economic researcher focusing on housing at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and an economist at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He has a BA from Boston College in economics and a master’s degree in urban planning with an emphasis in quantitative methods and evaluation from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Myrna Pérez

Barriers to the Ballot Box

Director of the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program, and leads the Program’s research, litigation, and advocacy work nationwide. An expert on voting rights and election administration, she has litigated high-profile voting cases across the country and is the author of several nationally recognized reports and articles. She has testified before Congress and several state legislatures on a variety of voting rights related issues. Pérez earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University. She obtained a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service. She graduated from Columbia Law School where she is now a lecturer-in-law. Her work has been featured in media outlets across the country, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and others.

David Hinojosa

Education: Unmet Promises

Is Director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a leading thinker and litigator in educational civil rights. As former regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, David led several impact cases and policy work resulting in desegregating schools, improving school finance, preserving the Texas DREAM Act, affirmative action and the Top Ten Percent law, and securing driver’s licenses for immigrants. At the Intercultural Development Research Association, he led the organization’s policy work and equity assistance center. There, he presented reports to Congress, federal and state agencies and spearheaded the development of the “Essential Building Blocks of School Finance” and “Equity-Based Framework for Integrated Schooling.” He is well-published with several book chapters and articles on educational equity. A graduate of Edgewood HS, he holds a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and a BA from New Mexico State University.

Maria "Cuca" Robledo Montecel

Education: Unmet Promises

Is president emeritus and former CEO of Intercultural Development Research Association. She is a nationally recognized expert on bilingual education and school dropout prevention and was the project director of the first statewide Texas School Dropout Survey Project. She is the author of numerous publications on education and was editor of the IDRA Newsletter for 26 years. She has testified to Congress, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and to state policymakers. She served as trustee of Our Lady of the Lake University for nine years, and is a founding board member of the Mexican American Solidarity Foundation, and the CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation. She received the 2013 Excellence in Community Service Award from MALDEF. She has a master’s degree in educational evaluation from Antioch College and a Ph.D. in research and evaluation from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Aurelio Montemayor

Education: Unmet Promises

Is an IDRA senior education associate and lead trainer, with a career in education that spans more than four decades. As a young teacher, he testified at the 1968 U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearing in San Antonio, Texas. In 1970, he co-founded the first independent Chicano college, Colegio Jacinto Trevino, in Mercedes, Texas. He developed a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation program that later became known as Education CAFÉ. He has been a board member of the National Association for Bilingual Education, National PTA and Parents for Public Schools. He earned a master’s degree in bilingual education from Antioch College Graduate School of Education in Ohio.

Rebecca Flores

The Farmworkers of Texas

Rebecca Flores was born in South Texas to a family of farmworkers. She was trained as a farmworker organizer by internationally known U.S. labor leader Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and UFW trainer Fred Ross. Chavez named her Texas Director of the United Farm Workers Union in Texas in 1975 where she remained until retiring in 2005. In that period, she served for three years as Texas Director of the National AFL-CIO. She holds a master’s degree in community organizing from the University of Michigan. Rebecca thanks Juanita Valdez-Cox and James C. Harrington for their Chapters as their work in the farm worker movement is an integral part of this period.  

Rebecca acknowledges the assistance of Dr Antonia Castaneda for her encouragement and recommendations in the writing of these chapters.  

Juanita Valdez-Cox is executive director of La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), San Juan, Texas

 James C. Harrington, a civil rights lawyer, founder and director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, provided legal expertise to the UFW in Texas from 1975 through 2000.

Dr. Antonia Castañeda is a nationally recognized scholar of Chicano and Chicana history, and a former professor at St Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas 

Alejandro Becerra

Civil Rights and Housing in America

A native of Mexico who moved to Texas at the age of 11, has served in the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and on the U.S. President’s Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for the Spanish Speaking. Now director of research for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), he received the 2011 National HOPE Policy Award for promoting minority home ownership and a Lifetime Achievement in Housing Award from NAHREP. He has served as director of the Peace Corps in Paraguay, South America, and in positions for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and National Council of La Raza. His books include Hispanic Homeownership: The Key to America’s Housing and Economic Renewal. (Washington, DC: Barclay Bryan Press, 2010). He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Texas, Austin.

Henry Cisneros

Civil Rights and Housing in America

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1992-1997), is Chairman of American Triple I, and founder and chair of CityView companies. In 1981, he became the first Mexican American mayor of a major U.S. city, serving four terms as San Antonio mayor. The native of San Antonio is a past president and CEO of the Univision television network, and has served as president of the National League of Cities, deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and vice chair of Habitat for Humanity International. He is the author, co-author or editor of numerous books, including Building Equitable Cities: How to Drive Economic Mobility and Regional Growth (Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2017). He holds master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and Harvard University, and a Doctorate in public administration from George Washington University. In addition to numerous national awards for public service, he has been awarded more than twenty honorary doctoral degrees from leading U.S. universities.

Earnest Gerlach

Ending Discrimination in Employment

Has over 40 years of experience in rural and economic development, community and regional planning, public policy research and management. From 1973 to 1986 he was a Civil Rights Analyst for the Southwestern Region of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has authored or co-authored over 30 studies focusing in on economic, community and business development and engaged in several major projects centered on development issues in South Texas. He was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research at the University of Texas San Antonio, a Coordinator for the Rural Business Program in the South West Texas Regional Small Business Development Center Network-Institute for Economic Development at UTSA and the Director for the Center for Economic Development at UTSA. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Arts Degree in Urban Studies also from Trinity University, and a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from UTSA.

Marie Mora

Achieving Economic Security

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  A labor economist, Mora has been invited to share her expertise on Hispanic socioeconomic outcomes at institutions and agencies across the country, including the White House and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  Along with numerous journal articles and book chapters, she has published two books (including the award-winning Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications, Stanford University Press, with Alberto Dávila), three co-edited volumes (including Labor Market Issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border,  University of Arizona Press, with Dávila), and numerous book chapters and journal articles. Mora is the 2015 recipient of the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and the 2019 Outstanding Service Award from the American Society of Hispanic Economists. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University.

Alberto Dávila

Achieving Economic Security

Is Dean of the Harrison College of Business & Computing and Professor of Economics at Southeast Missouri State University.  His research focuses on the economics of the U.S.-Mexico border, the economics of immigration, and Hispanic labor markets.  In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, Dávila has published two books (including the award-winning Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications, Stanford University Press, with Marie Mora), two co-edited volumes (including Labor Market Issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border,  University of Arizona Press, with Mora), and numerous book chapters and journal articles. His recent recognitions include the Academic Achievement Award from the American Society of Hispanic Economists, of which he is a former President and founding member. Dávila earned his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.

Juan H Flores

Chicano Activism: Pathway to Healthy

For more than 40 years has engaged both as an activist and in leadership roles to address Latino health and social policy concerns at the local, state and national levels. He founded the Chicano Health Policy Development, Inc. (1978-1992) for health professions development, health promotion, health care access and advocacy.  He served as Administrator at multiple community health centers in Texas (1993-2005); and directed the La Fe Policy Research and Education Center (La Fe PREC) in San Antonio from 2006 to 2013.  La Fe PREC was the statewide policy-arm of Centro de Salud Familiar-La Fe in El Paso. The Center conducted social and health policy research, leadership training, and advocacy. He has a Bachelor of Public Health from Texas State University and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Washington in Seattle and coursework toward a doctorate in Public Health at the University of Texas in Houston.

Lupe S. Salinas

Latinos and the Justice System in Texas

Is Professor of Law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, where he teaches criminal procedure, civil rights litigation, and Latino-based civil rights issues. He retired as judge of the 351st Criminal District Court of Harris County, Texas, where he presided over three capital murder trials that resulted in death sentences. He began his career in 1972 with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), served as a state prosecutor and as Assistant U.S. Attorney in Houston, and as Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti in Washington DC and as Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Houston US Attorney’s Office. In 2010 he received the Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government for his efforts to improve the quality of lives of Mexicans and Mexican Americans residing abroad. He is the author of several law journal articles and a book, U.S. Latinos and Criminal Injustice, Michigan State University Press (2015).