Sunday Speaker Series – The Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) Conference of December of 1969: The Struggle for Chicana/o Self-Determination in South Texas
December 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
In 1969, conferences organized by Mexican Americans throughout the southwest provided settings for new expressions of ethnic nationalism and laid down plans for Chicana/o Studies in colleges and universities. While these conferences received scholarly attention among historians, the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) conference held in December of 1969 at La Lomita Monastery in Mission, Texas, is mostly unknown.
The history of the MAYO conference deserves deeper examination for its role in Chicana/o institutional self-determination in South Texas. The event represents one of the most transformative moments in the broader Chicana/o Movement. Carlos Cantú will detail the history of the local Chicana/o Movement in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and situate the history of the MAYO conference in the context of grassroots and national struggles for Mexican American civil and equal rights. Out of this conference emerged the decision to found La Raza Unida Party, a third political party; Colegio Jacinto Treviño, an independent Chicana/o college; and Amigos Unidos Credit Union, a community-based financial cooperative for migrant families.
Cantú graduated from the University of Houston with a doctorate degree in U.S. History in May 2016. He has presented on the history of Mexican American educational struggles at annual regional and national conferences, including the Texas State Historical Association, the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch and the Alumni of Color Conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His work has been published in South Texas Studies and The Journal of South Texas Studies, and he currently teaches at South Texas College.
Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.
This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.