Saturday, November 2, 2013

Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead

Marla O. Anderson, in remembrance for the traditional Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

By H. Nelson Goodson
November 2, 2013

Milw., WI - This brief remembrance is dedicated to my dearly departed mother, Marla O. Anderson, who in her life time became a role model to six children as one of the many college graduates after the 1970 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) takeover for higher education protests, helped countless people get their U.S. residency, instrumental in lowering the height requirement for Hispanics in the Fire and Police Departments, which prevented them from qualifying, marched to Madison from Milwaukee for enforcement of farm workers and migrants rights, helped break down the barriers of discrimination that prevented Hispanics from getting hired in the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle, fought for bilingual education in public schools, welfare rights and countless other achievements that made Wisconsin a better place to live.
Anderson originally from Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico is well known for her leadership and instrumental role in the August 27, 1970 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) takeover of Chapman Hall, where she along with four men, Jesus Salas, Dante Navarro, Gregorio "Goyo" Rivera and Jose Luis Huerta-Sánchez were arrested in a peaceful protest. They along with 500 other educational activists were protesting UWM's discriminatory policy that prevented Latinos from enrolling.
In 1970, only 14 Hispanic students were enrolled compared to 25,000 White students and there were no Latino faculty at UWM. Anderson's role helped open the doors of education for thousands of Latinos in the state of Wisconsin UW-System. Enrollment of Hispanics also spread throughout statewide private colleges.
Their success helped create the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute (SSOI) at UWM, which focus on recruitement, advicing and retention of Hispanic students. The SSOI was later renamed in 1996, the Roberto Hernández Center and since 1970, thousands of Hispanics have graduated.
Anderson enrolled at UWM and later graduated from the School of Education with a Bachelor of Science degree in May 1978, while raising six children. Today, more than 1,400 Hispanic students are enrolled per semester and at least 30 Latino faculty work at UWM.
Recently, Dante Navarro past away in April 2013.

Check out actual historical video footage of the August 27, 1970 UW-Milwaukee Takeover of Chapman Hall by Hispanics for higher education at link:

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