Skip to main content

SDSU Celebrates 50 Years Of Chicana-Chicano Studies

A Daily Aztec article from 1969.

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Mr. Gus Chavez and Dr. Pepe Villarino

Above: A Daily Aztec article from 1969.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

San Diego State University's Chicana and Chicano Studies Department was one of the first of its kind in the nation when it was established in 1969 as Mexican American studies.

Aired: October 9, 2019 | Transcript

San Diego State University's Chicana and Chicano Studies department is marking a major milestone this year: its 50th anniversary.

The program, which was born out of the Chicano and Civil Rights movements, was one of the first of its kind in the nation when it was established as Mexican American Studies in 1969. The idea was to offer students a different approach to teaching American history, by focusing on the history, culture and contributions of Latinos in the United States. A similar program was also developed focused on Africana Studies.

Student activists played a pivotal role in the creation of Chicano Studies. Arturo Casares was a student in the department's early years and eventually became a part-time lecturer. Casares went on to form Barrio Station, a non-profit that serves Latino youth in Barrio Logan.

The department is holding a series of events to commemorate the founding of Chicano Studies at San Diego State.

Casares and Roberto Hern√°ndez, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss the history behind the program and its impact.

KPBS is a service of San Diego State University.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.