Calls 40-Year-Old Event Pivotal in Creating Modern Chicano Movement
Sunday, February 17, 2008
By Bianca Licata
Honoring the 40th anniversary of the 1968 walkout of thousands of
East Los Angeles high school students, UCSB will hold a conference
discussing the event itself and the resulting school reforms.
Organized in 1963 by former Lincoln High School faculty member Sal
Castro, Chicano Youth Leadership Conferences (CYLC) awakened students
to the educational repression existing within their inner city
schools and inspired them to take action. Five years later, in March
of 1968, nearly 20,000 Latino students from five public high schools
of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), enraged with poor
educational conditions, historic discrimination, and segregation,
walked out of their classrooms yelling "Blowout, walkout!". Chicano
studies experts mark this even and helping shape the urban Chicano
Movement. Since then, schools have employed more Mexican American
teachers and administrators, established bilingual education and
Chicano studies, and placed greater emphasis on academic subjects,
encouraging Mexican American students to attend college.
UCSB professor of history and Chicano/a studies Mario T. Garcia will
give the keynote address, titled "Blowout: Sal Castro and the Chicano
Struggle for Educational Justice." Also present will be Sal Castro
and several Lincoln and Garfield High alumni who participated in the
march. Co-Sponsored by UCSB's Chicano Studies Institute and
Chicano/Latino Research Focus Group, the conference, entitled
"Blowout: The 40th Anniversary Conference on the 1968 East Los
Angeles Chicano Student Walkouts", will take place at UCSB on
February 20 at 2 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities
and Social Sciences Building.
The conference is free and open to the public.
Bianca Licata is an Independent intern.