SMU PhD Alum Ruben A. Arellano wrote a post about this exciting Spring Break trip, in which he collaborated with fellow SMU history PhD Carla Mendiola:
Carla contacted me only a few weeks ago to help her find Dallas activists who could speak to the students surrounding issues relating to the Chicano movement. Due to the suddenness of the request, I found it difficult finding speakers, but with the help of Evelio Flores (long time Chicano activist and jefe de danza azteca), we were able to track down Luis Sepulveda to speak to the students. Sepulveda grew up in West Dallas, a neighborhood that he cares about deeply, and he’s been fighting against lead contamination and radiation pollution in that part of the city since the 1980s. In addition to all of his accomplishments, he served as Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, for many years. There was no doubt in our minds that he was the perfect candidate for the job. Moreover, when Carla discovered that I was part of a danza group, she asked if the group could do a brief presentation for the kids—we did and they loved it!
The resonated with Arellano’s own background as an SMU student, when he participated in the school’s famous Civil Rights pilgrimage, led by Dennis Simon. Read the full post here: