This week marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of CFA’s Chicanx/Latinx Caucus.
We went into the archives to unearth a document announcing the caucus. With enthusiasm, it explains the formation of the group, then known as the “CFA Latino Caucus.”
The opening reads:
We are proud to announce a bold new diversity initiative by your faculty union, the California Faculty Association: The formation of the CFA Latino Caucus (LC). The LC is an unprecedented and promising new social space for Latino/a faculty at CSU; a place, at long last, where we can come together, voice our and our people’s concerns and aspirations, assert our needs both as faculty and as Latinos, all with the full support of our splendid faculty union. In this and other ways, CFA is effectively championing and becoming an example of diversity both within the CSU and in our society. The enclosed brochure explains the LC’s rationale, its long-term mission, and ways for you to join in. We hope you do.
The formation of the caucus was precedent setting for the entire union.
“I am proud of the work we did to call attention to the lack of representation and to issues of racial injustice. Our work contributed significantly to the call for the Council of Affirmative Action, to raising issues of immigrant rights and to the never-ending battle against misogyny and sexism. On the other hand, as I reflect on the sociopolitical contexts of the union and the CSU, I am conscious that invisibility, racism, and inequity continue to plague Latinx faculty, students, and the community. This, in spite of the fact the overwhelming majority of our campuses call themselves–Hispanic Serving Institutions. La lucha sigue,” said Dr. Theresa Montaño, former Tri-chair of the caucus and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at CSU Northridge.
For new Chicanx Latinx faculty the caucus provides a space for support and mentorship.
“As one of the more recent Latinx faculty to join CFA, I am blessed to collaborate and organize with my fierce Chicanx Latinx caucus members, explore the legacy of our past and present liberatory and intellectual achievements and connect our scholar/activist work with our students and communities. Within the Chicanx Latinx caucus I can more deeply explore the radical imagination of our diverse histories, bodies and geographies while my mentors inspire me to keep strong and grounded in the fight against white supremacy and to challenge conformity within Academia and within our ongoing faculty labor work,” said CSU LA professor and activist Leda Ramos.
Despite major advancements and victories there is still much work to do.
“The Chicanx/Latinx Caucus carves space for us to advocate for ourselves and collaborate with brave leaders like Theresa Montaño, Leda Ramos, Margarita Berta-Ávila, Rosalinda Quintanar, Antonio Gallo, Mike Fraga, who are among the many that are actively engaged fighting for our rights, respect, and who push back against the forces that work hard to erase us. These leaders are a reflection of our complex intersectionalities reflected in our labor union work. The fight that was started 20 years ago is not over. Our caucus work is as important now as it was in 2002. With the growing numbers of Chicanx/Latinx students on our campus, we still are fighting for equity for our Chicanx/Latinx members. While times have changed, our circumstances have not. The struggles continue,” said Professor, and CSU San Marcos campus president Dr. Michelle Ramos Pellicia.
In commemoration of Chicanx/Latinx Heritage, faculty features will focus on the contributions of Chicanx/Latinx.