LULAC is the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S. It fights anti-Hispanic laws. It helps Hispanics receive equal education and citizenship.
Until 1954, Texas didn’t let Mexican Americans serve on juries. The United States says jurors must be “peers,” that is, fellow citizens. Texas did not follow the law. Hispanics on trial were judged by people unlike them.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) sued Texas. Ever since, Texas juries have included Mexican Americans.
The United States won the U.S.-Mexican War in the 1840s. It took control of a part of Mexico. More than 75,000 Mexicans living there became U.S. citizens.
But Mexican American citizens did not have full rights. For years, many were not allowed to learn English or vote. Children of farmworkers did not go to school. Other Hispanic children attended inferior schools. Signs saying “No Mexicans Allowed” were common.
People formed groups to help, but each group had different goals. Finally, in 1929, these diverse groups joined forces at a meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas. LULAC was born. It focused on helping Hispanics get full rights. The group embraced American customs. It adopted the American flag as its symbol.
Today LULAC has expanded well beyond Texas. It supports the needs of Hispanics in 48 states and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to improve the economic, educational, and political standards for Hispanics in the United States.
The Four Pillars of LULAC
LULAC’s 132,000 members receive many services. Support comes in the areas of civil rights, health, education, and employment.
Voting rights are civil rights. LULAC holds voter registration drives at the local, state, and national level.
Good health is key to a strong community. LULAC offers health programs aimed at the Hispanic community.
LULAC runs 14 Educational Service Centers around the country. The centers help more than 18,000 students a year. LULAC also gives out $1 million in scholarships each year.
Source: LULAC: Fighting for the Rights
of Latino American Citizens
By Exploros, CC BY-SA 4.0; photo by Billy Hathorn - Own work, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0