ENMU-Ruidoso’s Professor of History and Humanities presented at LULAC Convention
Oct. 17, 2022
RUIDOSO, N.M. – Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco, Professor of History & Humanities at ENMU-Ruidoso presented this past summer at the Texas State LULAC convention in South Padre Island. Dr. Orozco’s presentation was titled “Who were the Principal Founders of LULAC?” She joined Texas State Representative Terry Canales, a descendant of J.T. Canales who was another LULAC founder.
LULAC is this nation’s oldest and most prominent Latino civil rights organization founded in 1929 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Orozco is the author of the recent book Pioneer of Mexican American Civil Rights: Alonso S. Perales published by Arte Publico Press in Houston. Orozco was commissioned to write Pioneer, the first full biography of LULAC founder Perales. She is also the author of Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist; No Mexicans, Women or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement; and co-editor of Mexican Americans in Texas History. She is also a Ford Fellow, a Texas State Historical Association fellow, and received the ENMU-Ruidos’s President’s Award for Teaching and Service. She has taught at ENMU-Ruidoso since 1997.
Though Perales was born into poverty and became an orphan, he attended a San Antonio business school, served in World War I, worked for the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C., completed college, and became the second Latino lawyer in Texas. He served the U.S. as a diplomat in 13 countries in Latin America while he was in his 20s. He returned to Texas and founded LULAC to combat rampant racial discrimination and promote Latino empowerment.
Perales died in 1960 before Mexican American Studies was created and his personal papers were finally placed in the University of Houston archive in 2009. He collaborated with U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico. He was mostly unknown until Orozco’s book was published.
Contact: Robin DeMott, Chief External Affairs Officer, Robin.DeMott@enmu.edu, 575.315.1211