CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Clearinghouse for Mexican American Research (CMAR) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the American GI Forum (AGIF) will bring together leading Mexican-American scholars from around the nation to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the American GI Forum Wednesday, March 26, and Thursday, March 27, at the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Hotel, 1102 S. Shoreline Blvd.
The symposium, which is free and open to the public, is being held in conjunction with the AGIF’s Executive Board Meeting in Corpus Christi. Speakers will honor the legacy of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a leading civil rights advocate who, in 1948, founded the American GI Forum in Corpus Christi to address the concerns of Mexican-American veterans. The AGIF soon took on non-veterans’ issues including voting rights and educational segregation. Today, the AGIF continues its advocacy of Hispanic rights through its involvement in such issues as employment, housing, civil rights, women’s programs and youth activities.
Scheduled speakers include: Dr. Carl Allsup, chair of ethnic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Plattsville and authority on the history of race relations in the United States and author of “The American GI Forum: Origins and Evolution;” Dr. Carlos Blanton, associate professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of the award winning book “The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas 1836-1981,” and numerous articles on Mexican-American education; Dr. Ignacio Garcia, professor of history at Brigham Young University and author of numerous books on Chicano history including a biography of Dr. Garcia titled “Hector P. Garcia: In Relentless Pursuit of Justice;” Dr. Michelle Hall Kells, University of New Mexico professor and author of “Héctor P. García: Everyday Rhetoric and Mexican American Civil Rights;” and Dr. Julie Pycior, professor of history at Manhattan College in New York and author of “LBJ and Mexican-Americans: The Paradox of Power.”
University faculty members who will make presentations are: Dr. Patrick Carroll, professor of history and author of “Felix Longoria’s Wake: Bereavement, Racism and the Rise of Mexican American Activism;” Dr. Tom Kreneck, archivist and director of special collections for the Mary and Jeff Bell Library and author of “Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader1905-1965;” and Dr. Anthony Quiroz, professor of history and chair of the Department of Humanities, whose book “Claiming Citizenship: Mexican Americans in Victoria, Texas” won the American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Merit in 2007.
CMAR, founded in October 2006, is a campus organization dedicated to generating external funding for faculty and graduate student research, providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students promoting interaction between the University and the broader community. The Center also serves to build stronger community relations by facilitating cultural events and sponsoring guest speakers and seminars.