Summer 2022

Opening the Humanities to New Fields & New Voices

Author
George J. Sánchez
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Abstract

This essay explores efforts to enact effective “public humanities” among humanities practitioners as the “public” in the United States is changing profoundly. In particular, it explores the creation of the Boyle Heights Museum in East Los Angeles as an attempt to bridge the gap in historical practice and outreach between an immigrant and Latino community with a team of faculty, doctoral, and undergraduate students from the University of Southern California. Building four historical exhibitions in the Boyle Heights community, this team is a reflection of the growing awareness of the need to establish new institutional practices in archiving and historical presentations that reach new immigrant communities. New PhD students are in search of approaches to historical training, publishing, and output that engage with these new publics. Our own survival in the humanities fields is increasingly dependent on reaching these publics and creating this diversity of the humanities.

George J. Sánchez is Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy (2021) and Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945 (1993) and editor of Los Angeles and the Future of Urban Cultures (with Raúl Homero Villa, 2005) and Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina (with Amy Koritz, 2009).

On October 1, 2017, the Boyle Heights Museum opened in the lobby of the CASA 0101 Theater with an exhibit on the history of the Boyle Heights neighborhood in the heart of East Los Angeles, California. The first exhibit, Aquí Estamos y No Nos Vamos, drew hundreds of visitors to its opening, with a line down First Street waiting to enter the gallery. The exhibit told the story of the repatriation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans from Boyle Heights during the 1930s, and the struggle of that community to stay in Los Angeles during that period. But it also put that struggle in the context of contemporary efforts by the Trump administration to criminalize the twenty-first-century immigrant community and target it for deportation. The exhibit was a collective product of a team of Latina/o undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Southern California under my direction: they did the research, collected the photographs, wrote the exhibit script, and translated it into a bilingual format, often aided by the immigrant parents of the students. Our public program that day was a celebration of this effort and the opening of a new institution, complete with an online presence, that would document and display the rich history that this neighborhood represents.1

Rather than simply a story of inclusion on the part of new institutional players in the telling of U.S. history, this new exhibition opening by a new community-­based museum in a multipurpose arts location deep in an immigrant-based Latino community is the future of the public humanities in the United States. That future is something that larger institutional structures of the humanities with traditional leadership and that cater to an older white population have a hard time seeing or planning for, but increasingly these new populations will determine the course of the humanities in the United States. Either the older institutions will learn quickly to adapt and create new audiences for their work or they will slowly wither away under the weight of demographic change, unappealing products, and an unwillingness to evolve. Indeed, I argue that the fate of the humanities is at stake in many different ways.

The Census Bureau’s recent release of the population report on the 2020 U.S. Census gives us some sense of the massive demographic changes occurring in the U.S. population.2 While overall population growth in the last decade slowed substantially, the growth that did occur, totaling an increase of about twenty-three million, was made up entirely by people who identified as Hispanic, Asian, Black, or more than one race. Whites accounted for 0 percent of the population growth in the 2010s. Indeed, the non-Hispanic white population declined for the first time in U.S. history and became substantially older, with a median age at forty-four compared with the Hispanic median age at thirty. Marking a long-term decline in the white birthrate, people who identify as white make up 58 percent of the U.S. population, down from 64 percent in 2010 and 69 percent in 2000. Among those under the age of eighteen, a majority checked boxes other than white (compared with 65 percent who checked white ten years earlier). Hispanics accounted for about half the nation’s population growth in the last ten years, while Asians accounted for one-fifth of the growth and the Black population another tenth. In 2020, nearly one-in-four Americans identified as either Hispanic or Asian. Immigrants to the United States largely come from Latin America or Asia and settle in large cities like New York or Los Angeles, but they also fan out broadly across the nation. As of 2020, 98 percent of Americans live in a county experiencing Latino population growth, and 95 percent of Americans live in counties experiencing Asian population growth.3

But the fate of the humanities is governed by more than simply demographic transformation. These new populations have rarely been targets of humanities outreach, and few institutions have done an adequate job in diversifying their workforce. Rather than thinking of this as affirmative action for the collective good, the various fields of the humanities need to see it as affirmative action for survival. These groups are not new token representations of diversity fueled by racial transformation, which has been the norm in diversity work in the humanities to date. Leaders in the humanities have to contemplate that the survival of their various fields is dependent on their ability to recruit, reach, and satisfy the humanistic outlooks of these new populations in their institutions.

In other words, this essay takes on more than the crisis of the humanities in its understanding of the public humanities, but also addresses the crisis of the public in the growing work of the public humanities. How has the public changed in the recent past, and how does that changing public affect the way we must operate in the public humanities? Since colleges and universities continue to produce most of the practitioners in the public humanities–whether as college graduates, master’s and PhD students, or faculty who build between institutional settings–we must ask: have our institutions of higher learning diversified sufficiently to readily bring expertise based on community knowledge, growing new scholarship, and passion to understand new perspectives to the world of the public humanities?

The Boyle Heights Museum began by deciding that this new institution would be built within the Boyle Heights neighborhood and inside a recognized community-based outlet for artistic representations in theater and visual art. By placing the Boyle Heights Museum in Boyle Heights, our philosophy was to take public history to the public we were trying to reach, rather than making the public come to us in another setting. Most individuals in this working-­class community of immigrants have never been inside a museum building, largely because those buildings are located far away from the barrio in spots intended to attract white upper- and middle-class audiences to locations they find safe and appealing. From the Getty Museum to the County Museum of Art, the institutions of the arts and humanities in segregated Los Angeles are almost always built in white districts. Few institutions, except for underfunded extremely small organizations like the CASA 0101 Theater, are built in East or South Los Angeles or in any other neighborhoods dominated by the city’s Black and Brown communities.

How do you build and nurture a community of museumgoers in a working-class Latino district like Boyle Heights? The programming we implemented to accompany the three exhibitions launched between 2017 and 2019 were key to the success of the exhibitions themselves. In the spring of 2018, our second exhibit celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 student walkouts from the high schools of East Los Angeles to protest conditions at the schools. We interviewed walkout participants such as Paula Crisostomo and Vickie Castro, focusing on the women of that movement whose roles were often underacknowledged by the historical accounts that had been written.4 In one of the most moving programs sponsored during the run of this exhibit, we brought together five women who had been active in the walkouts, now all in their sixties, with four current high school activists, all young women who wrote for the Boyle Heights Beat, a locally produced newspaper staffed by high school students. While the young reporters started by asking questions to the walkout participants about their ­decision-making in their youth, eventually the older women turned the tables and asked the young reporters about the struggles in their own lives. Some of the high school students recounted emotionally what life was like living in fear of your parents’ potential deportation and the emotional trauma they suffered. Connections across generations, using local history as a bridge, were formed that day in a powerful and moving tribute to the resiliency of both generations of women activists.

Along with programming that reinforced the continued relevance of historical exhibitions to the current population, we used various approaches to bring different generations of local residents through the doors of the museum. One group we incorporated regularly into our programming was a young generation of local students to which USC had already committed itself called the Neighborhood ­Academic Initiative (NAI). In order to increase the college-going rate of local K–12 students, USC works with sixth graders from the local public schools in Boyle Heights through after-school and weekend tutoring and additional classwork every year until their high school graduation. NAI parents must also commit to regular involvement in the programming. One of the individuals at USC responsible for NAI parents in Boyle Heights worked on the staff of the Boyle Heights Museum. We directly involved those families in the credited work of attending a programming event geared for them, and the K–12 students often guided their parents around the historical exhibition, aided by the preliminary work we had done with them. In this way, the younger generations of Latino students were often the ones who brought their immigrant parents in to participate in museum events, all made possible by the locality of the venue.

All our exhibitions were bilingual in presentation, and we spent a great deal of time making sure that we used English and Spanish signage throughout to attract and sustain a multilingual population. Families appreciated this effort, as visitors could read the exhibit text in whatever language they felt most comfortable. Likewise, our online presence and website are also consistently bilingual, as are the advertisements about upcoming events and exhibitions. Because the exhibitions themselves were produced by a group of USC undergraduate and graduate students who often concentrated their academic efforts in English, this was a strategic decision that was easier made than done in practice. We identified those of us who felt comfortable producing exhibition text in Spanish, and even utilized some of our own parents who are truly bilingual or Spanish-dominant to check our translations or help with the basic work of producing the exhibitions in Spanish.

The need to change and widen our approach to public history in the United States has been recognized at the largest national scale: namely, at the Smithsonian Institution. In December 2020, during a lame duck session in the waning days of the Trump administration, Congress passed legislation for two long-desired additions to the Smithsonian network of museums: the Museum of the American Latino and the Museum of the American Woman. Both additions recognized that the existing Smithsonian museums had inadequately addressed the importance of these populations in the United States. In the case of the Museum of the American Latino, several scathing reports had shown the inadequacy of the Smithsonian’s approach to expanding its offerings and exhibitions to include the largest minority group in the United States.5 I participated in the first gatherings of Latina/o historians, an online series of three meetings sponsored by the Mellon Foundation in summer 2021 to begin the arduous task of determining the narrative approach to this new museum and to give guidance around the parameters of its exhibition strategy and archival ambitions. One of the most significant questions we addressed was how much Latin American history was necessary in this museum to adequately do justice to the contextualization of the diversity of the Latino experience in the United States.6

What is happening at the national level is also manifesting in an explosion of interest in regional and local museums that focus on the Latino experience in these contexts. In summer 2021, I joined the Scholars’ Council of the Mexican American Civil Rights Initiative (MACRI), an organization that formed in 2019 to create a new museum and programming institute that would focus on the political and social achievements of Mexican Americans in San Antonio (where MACRI was situated) and the wider U.S. Southwest. MACRI was supported by the San Antonio City Council, partly as a way of generating additional tourist interest in the regional history of civic empowerment of Mexican Americans in San Antonio.7 This new effort would join with established museums like the Museo del Barrio in Harlem in New York City and the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, two places with longer established histories as regional Latino-oriented museums in the nation. While Los Angeles spent decades without a museum focused on the largest racial/ethnic group in southern California, the Plaza de Cultura y Artes was established in 2010 to celebrate the city’s Mexican origins and its continued history and culture, which dominate the local history.8 In 2021, in fact, the Plaza Museum opened an auxiliary outlet that focuses on the culinary contributions of Mexican and Latino cuisine.

Most of these historical museums are actually institutions that combine historical and art exhibitions, promoting larger cultural displays as well as displays of political and civic engagement. The reason for this expansive cultural stretch is that few institutions, whether centered on history or art, have done an adequate job of building collections or displays that integrate the contributions of Latinas/os to these respective humanities fields. Every new institution that centers on the Latino population, therefore, is placed under enormous pressure to display all forms of cultural, political, and historical contributions to U.S. society and culture, in the past and in the present.

In fall 2018, the Boyle Heights Museum produced, with the support of the California Council for the Humanities, our third exhibition: on the life of Edward Roybal, the first Mexican American elected to the Los Angeles City Council in the twentieth century. The history of Roybal and his family displayed the courage and tenacity that we often witnessed among Boyle Heights residents, a story we thought had not received the attention it deserved in Los Angeles, especially in chronicles of the political history of the city and region. In particular, the multi­racial nature of the political coalition he put together in 1949, along with the newly formed Community Services Organization, was critical in moving the neighborhood forward through electoral representation. Roybal left a legacy of fighting for one’s neighborhood that has been exemplified by his own children, especially his daughter Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and by the Roybal Foundation, which continues this work throughout East Los Angeles today. We were honored to be featured in a Facebook Live interview with Univision, a Spanish language television station in Los Angeles, that extended the reach of the exhibit and the concurrent theatrical play running at CASA 0101.

One thing that became clear to us in building the exhibition on the life of Edward Roybal was the lack of a commitment to the creation of local, regional, or national archives, both material and document archives, that could develop exhibitions in the future. Despite the fact that Roybal is one of the most important figures in the history of Los Angeles and the empowerment of the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States at this time, no major institution has shown interest in obtaining his city council desk nor other material objects related to his tenure on the city council or in Congress for preservation purposes or potential future display in museum exhibitions. These materials remain in the office building that houses the Roybal Foundation in East Los Angeles, even while several university archives now hold multiple collections of his vast legacy of paper archives from his various public offices. Our small exhibit could display reproductions of various documents from these paper archives, but simply was not secure enough to show material objects large or small. Those institutions in Los Angeles and nationally that could store and preserve those objects have not shown interest in doing so. This is how future silences are created and sustained.

Our team of public historians very quickly became known in Boyle Heights as a group dedicated to the preservation of local history. It is not surprising, therefore, that we were approached by Quetzal Flores, a noted local musician who at the time was working for the East Los Angeles Community Corporation, to evaluate a roomful of documents he encountered in Casa del Mexicano, a long-standing social service center in Boyle Heights scheduled to be remodeled and repurposed. We were asked to evaluate the contents of file cabinets and storage boxes left behind by immigrant organizations working with the Los Angeles Consulate of Mexico when that building was foreclosed and became property of the state of California. What we knew was that part of the collection had already proven useful in one of the first scholarly studies of undocumented workers in California by Stanford historian Ana Raquel Minian.9

The team spent a day investigating the contents of a room full of paper documents and newsletters, almost all in Spanish, as well as a unique set of photographs. We produced a report that we circulated to a variety of university archives to gauge their interest in preserving these archival items. We learned that Stanford University Archives had already passed on the materials, and the Special Collections Unit at the University of Southern California did not have any interest. But we connected with the archivist at the library of California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), an institution that has particular interest in Boyle Heights history. After extensive negotiations with the current owners of the Casa del Mexicano, CSULA was able to obtain these valuable documents, which will be made available to future researchers and curators. The Boyle Heights Museum hopes to partner with CSULA libraries to help digitize the collection and feature it in one of our future exhibitions.

This ongoing commitment to civic engagement through our work at the Boyle Heights Museum has also transformed my graduate teaching and mentorship. I believe that I am part of a larger movement to radically change the nature of graduate education in the twenty-first century and to produce a new generation of scholar activists who do not structure their lives around scholarship solely for the disciplines they represent, but instead desire to engage the wider public in everything they do.10 And rather than seeing this effort as just a new form of public history or community engagement standing alone, I believe that it will require a full rethinking of the purpose of scholarship in the humanities for the twenty-first century, with a definition of the public that is much more expansive, multiracial, and class diverse than previous versions of civic engagement have been. In short, nothing less than a rethinking of humanities education at the graduate level is necessary to reinvigorate our disciplines and prepare us for the challenges of relevancy and impact for this new generation of scholars and publics.

I am not the only person in the humanities thinking about a radical reinvention of graduate training based on reaching wider publics. The American Historical Association (AHA) has led efforts in what they call “career diversity for historians” by launching an initiative to help history departments better prepare graduate students and early-career historians for career options both within and beyond the academy. Working collaboratively with three dozen departments from around the nation, the AHA is utilizing both its substantial network of scholars to meticulously study where trained PhDs in history end up working and a Mellon Foundation grant to push faculty and departments to think more expansively about the occupations PhD graduates in history might fill. Currently, less than half of all PhDs in history end up working in four-year tenure-track faculty positions, and about one-quarter find employment outside the academy altogether. This effort has led some departments to think about incorporating training within their PhD programs to prepare graduates for work in museums and archives, corporations and nonprofits, publishing houses and other places where historical training may be vital to the performance of certain jobs.11

At the same time, I am aware of how desperately white the academy has remained despite decades of work to diversify the professoriate.12 Among full-time professors in 2013, 58 percent of faculty members were white males and 26 percent were white females, with less than 3 percent of full-time professors being either African American or Latino. In 2015, when racial minority students launched massive protests at campuses across the country, their number one complaint was the lack of minority professors in the classroom. Even though many major universities launched new initiatives in the wake of these student protests to hire minority faculty members, the problem for many humanities departments starts at the undergraduate level, where students are staying away from our majors, and continues on to our PhD programs, where diversity is still sorely lacking despite the clear needs.

At USC, I run the university’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, identifying promising sophomores with sustained research funding and encouraging them to pursue PhDs and fill the ranks of the future faculty.13 However, I have learned that young budding scholars do not simply want to reproduce the lives they see among current tenure-track faculty in the classroom. They embrace a higher ideal of reaching a wider public with their work than is typical for most university faculty. This aspiration makes sense to them, since our nation’s K–12 school-age population is majority-minority, and whites have accounted for less than half of all births in the United States since 2012. Their public is not well-­represented among our humanities disciplines and writing just for the disciplines seems like a waste of their talents and interests. Over my career, I have searched for ways to make the study, research, and presentation of U.S. history more relevant to students’ lives, and to the lives of people of color, recent immigrants to this country, and those who are often marginal to U.S. universities.

Projects to reach these wider publics have affected the kind of graduate students who have been drawn to work with me over the years. When we opened the Boyle Heights Museum in 2017, the project manager of our first exhibition was a first year PhD student in American studies and ethnicity whose own pathway exemplifies the kind of graduate student I consistently attract to USC. Michelle Vasquez-Ruiz was born to undocumented parents living on the Westside of Los Angeles who had emigrated to the United States from Oaxaca, Mexico.14 Like many other first-born and first-generation college students, she was the child that translated for her parents growing up, dealing with doctors, teachers, and government inquiries. Michelle attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate business student, but changed her major after taking her first Chicano studies course. As an undergraduate activist in MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán), a Chicano student political organization, Michelle continued wanting to make an impact on the lives of others for the better, especially as she became more aware of her own Indigenous background. In her life, it was always faculty of color who encouraged her to think of getting an advanced degree, starting with a master’s degree in history at California State University, Los Angeles.

Michelle grew more critical of traditional historical approaches that did not engage communities through oral histories and archival collecting. So she sought an interdisciplinary PhD program in American studies and ethnicity at USC. She was attracted to work with me because so many of my PhD students engaged the public directly in their work, particularly Latino communities in California. Her vision was to be a researcher actively involved in archival collecting and constructing new collections of populations like her own that had often been ignored by traditional libraries and archivists. Her training has included digital mapping of Indigenous communities in Los Angeles through collaboration with scholars at UCLA, and her intended dissertation project will explore the changing dynamics for Indigenous migrants from Oaxaca to Los Angeles as they continue to fulfill their traditional obligations to their communities of origin and as the restrictive policies along the U.S.-Mexican border become more militarized and punitive. Michelle realizes that community-based research requires a passion, commitment, and sense of duty rare among traditional academics. As she says, “it is not just a job.” It requires communication to a public outside of the academy that she wants to sustain and grow. Michelle describes the intellectual projects conducted by her mentors as “uniquely human,” in which the connection to the public is clear and direct. We must take seriously the intellectual and personal desires of this new generation of humanities scholars entering the academy who are determined to have their work make a wider impact.

One of the graduate students who organizes the public programming for the Boyle Heights Museum is Yesenia Navarette Hunter, a nontraditional PhD candidate in the history department who moved her family to Los Angeles from the state of Washington to attend graduate school.15 Yesenia grew up in a large migrant farm-working family, born thirteenth of seventeen children. Her family came from Mexico, and many of them are undocumented. Yesenia grew up on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington State. When she was about forty years old and with four children of her own, Yesenia started a four-year college degree at Heritage College on the Yakama Reservation, where she was incorporated into the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. Getting involved in Mellon Mays moved Yesenia from pursuing a degree in social work to acquiring a humanities degree instead.

Yesenia’s entire pathway to her PhD work was rooted in community-based musical workshops in son jaracho with Mexican migrant families, especially women who used music to recall their Mexican and Indigenous roots. She also worked on arts workshops for children with other local parents to encourage them to become writers and artists of their own lives. Our connection formed because I could identify her project of storytelling and creativity within the discipline of history and as helping others in migrant families to understand their own history of dislocations as transnational migrants. For her dissertation, Yesenia is producing a historical project that focuses on the migrant farm-working women in families in the Yakama Valley who have lived dislocated lives as transients, in which rhythms of movements and music have provided roots and stability. Yesenia has already been hired as an assistant professor by Heritage College, the institution that first attracted her as a nontraditional college student.

For Yesenia and Michelle, the Boyle Heights Museum project allowed them to learn how to train undergraduates to do research that has community impact. Both also discovered how to use the discipline of history in public spaces beyond their own academic work. In our work in the Boyle Heights Museum, students are always the first to remind us to listen to the community and to develop our public programming with community interests and ideas in mind. Both Yesenia and Michelle strongly believe that in their own academic work, like our collective public historical work, community members should be able to hear themselves in our stories and in our histories, and see themselves as belonging because they have a story to tell others: a living history.

In 2019–2020, a new configuration of graduate and undergraduate students at USC worked with me to develop “Traditions of Innovations,” our fourth exhibit, which focuses on the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Boyle Heights past and present.16 Partly to counteract gentrification pressures that see financial capital coming from outside the neighborhood as its only hope, we are documenting and telling stories of local residents and business owners in Boyle Heights who have enriched the lives of residents while building and maintaining a prosperous life for themselves. We focus on the history of entrepreneurship by concentrating on local businesses of the past like the Phillips Music Store and the Pan-American Bank, but also by examining the commitments of their proprietors William Phillips and bank cofounder Francisco Bravo. We also celebrate the power of individual entrepreneurs engaged in everything from street vending elotes to providing music as local mariachis for hire. Businesses that have remained in Boyle Heights over generations like Candelas Music Shop, providing custom-made guitars for all musical genres, are key to our history of entrepreneurship, since the Delgado family first started the business in the 1940s with their grandfather’s migration to Los Angeles, and two subsequent generations have kept the business in the neighborhood on Brooklyn Avenue, now named Avenida Cesar Chavez. And new establishments like Espacio 1839 continue the tradition of local businesses whose concept of service extends beyond making profits to serving the community with much-needed services and products.

Through the telling and retelling of these stories, we hope to keep the history of the Boyle Heights community alive in the minds of current residents, students, and neighbors. But it is also clear that this is a living history that matters to local residents who often struggle to pass along hope to their children growing up hearing national politicians and even local pundits target them as what is wrong in Los Angeles. I expect that people living their lives in Boyle Heights today will continue making history that matters to the future of the United States and shaping the contours of their lives as Americans for a long time to come. In other words, the Boyle Heights Museum, in one form or another, will have plenty more exhibitions to mount and stories to tell. There is no reason to believe any differently; the histories told in our exhibitions exemplify the strength of people who have overcome much adversity to persevere, survive, and prosper. When I think of the future of the United States, and the humanities that matters in this country, I often think of Boyle Heights.

Endnotes

  • 1See the Boyle Heights Museum, https://www.boyleheightsmuseum.org. For more about this neighborhood, see George J. Sánchez, Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2021).
  • 2U.S. Census Bureau, “2020 Census Statistics Highlight Local Population Changes and Nation’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity,” Release Number CB21-CN.55, August 12, 2021.
  • 3Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff, “U.S. Grew More Diverse During the Past Decade,” The New York Times, August 13, 2021.
  • 4For a full exploration of the critical roles of Paula Crisostomo and Vickie Castro in the 1968 student walkouts, see Sánchez, Boyle Heights, chap. 8, 185–212.
  • 5Raul Yzaguirre and Mari Carmen Aponte, Willful Neglect: The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. LatinosReport of the Smithsonian Institution Task Force on Latino Issues (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1984); and Daisy Vera, Chon A. Noriega, Sonja Diaz, and Matt Barreto, Invisible No More: An Evaluation of the Smithsonian Institution and Latino Representation (Los Angeles: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, 2018).
  • 6For example, see Gabriela Soto Laveaga, “Every American Needs to Take a History of Mexico Class,” The Washington Post, July 22, 2021.
  • 7See Mexican American Civil Rights Institute.
  • 8See LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
  • 9Ana Raquel Minian, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2018).
  • 10See, for example, Monica Muñoz Martinez, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2018) and the work of the related nonprofit Refusing to Forget.
  • 11See American Historical Association, “Career Diversity for Historians” (accessed April 6, 2022).
  • 12For an early-twenty-first-century analysis of the difficulty of this work in the historical profession, see George J. Sánchez, “Confronting a Crisis in the Historical Profession,” Perspectives on History, October 2007.
  • 13For the national program, see the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. For information regarding the MMUF program at USC, see Dornsife Office of Diversity, “Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.”
  • 14Author interview with Michelle Vasquez-Ruiz on August 13, 2019.
  • 15Author interview with Yesenia Hunter on August 13, 2019.
  • 16See Boyle Heights Museum, “Boyle Heights: Traditions of Innovations” (accessed April 6, 2022).