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Ceremony marks forced removal of Mexican Americans during Depression
From a news release
2012-02-23

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LOS ANGELES, CA — On Sunday, February 26, 2012, MALDEF and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will host a formal commemoration ceremony and acknowledgment of the apology made regarding the massive Mexican American repatriation/expatriation drives of the 1930's. The private ceremony, which will be followed by a series of public educational events, will expose the Los Angeles community to the government's role in the forced removal of 400,000 California citizens and residents of Mexican descent between 1929 and 1944. The commemoration falls on the 81st anniversary of the infamous La Placita raid by government officials, who seized hundreds of Mexican American community members.

Special invited guests include expatriation survivors and their families as well as prominent elected officials and community leaders (see below for more details). Following proclamations and presentations, a commemorative memorial monument will be unveiled. The monument will be permanently housed at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

WHAT:

Forced Removal of Mexican Americans during the Great Depression: MALDEF and LA Plaza Host Commemorative Ceremony and Monument Unveiling

WHO:

Special Guests/Presenters (In Program Order)

Eva Longoria, Moderator

Thomas A. Saenz, President & General Counsel, MALDEF

Dolores Huerta, Civil Rights Icon

The Honorable Cruz Reynoso, California Supreme Court Justice (Ret.); Civil Rights Lawyer

The Honorable Joseph Dunn, Senator (CA-34), California State Senate (Ret.); Author of SB 670: "Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program"

Emilia Castañeda, Repatriation Survivor

The Honorable Esteban Torres, Congressman (CA-38), U.S. House of Representatives (Ret.); Chair, Board of Trustees, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

The Honorable Gloria Molina, Supervisor (1st District), Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Member, Board of Trustees, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

WHEN:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

10:30 am — Commemorative Ceremony and Monument Unveiling

12:00 pm — Luncheon

WHERE:

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

501 North Main Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

In the 1930s, local, state, and federal authorities were involved in the forced repatriation and expatriation of nearly 2 million Mexican American individuals, disrupting and in many cases permanently separating families. In California, an estimated 400,000 people were removed. This aggressive uprooting involved massive raids and roundups targeting Mexican Americans, even though many were native-born United States citizens. In 2005, the State of California passed legislation to issue a formal apology to the victims of the repatriation/expatriation.

MALDEF ( www.maldef.org )

634 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 213-629-2512

In 2003, MALDEF represented repatriated Mexican Americans who sought reparations and an official apology from the state of California. Through the filing of a lawsuit and active engagement in public policy and legislative efforts to address the issue at the federal and state level, MALDEF helped secure the passage of former California State Senator Joe Dunn's legislation, SB 670: "Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program." Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 670 in 2005.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes ( www.lapca.org )

501 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 888 488-8083 Wednesday—Monday, noon—7 pminfo@lapca.org

LA Plaza was built to celebrate and honor the history and continued influence of Mexican and Mexican American culture, particularly within Los Angeles and the Southern California region. With the unveiling of a permanent plaque to be housed at LA Plaza, the sorrowful story of those individuals and families who lives were upended by California's repatriation program will finally be told. LA Plaza is proud to help share stories of the Mexican and Mexican-American experience and cultivate an appreciation for the enduring and evolving influence of Mexican and Mexican-American culture.


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