About | Chicana por mi Raza


What is Chicana por mi Raza?


Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective is a group of historians, educators, researchers, archivists and technologists dedicated to preserving imperiled Chicanx and Latinx histories of the long Civil Rights Era. Started by Professor Maria Cotera and filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant in 2009, CPMR has traveled to over one dozen states, interviewed more than 70 people, and collected hundreds of hours of oral histories and scanned archives for preservation and access. Using largely volunteer and student labor, CPMR pioneers a model for grass roots history creation that encourages further research into both Latinx studies and a model for grassroots digitzation projects. The overarching objective of the project is to provide broad‐based public access to oral histories, material culture, correspondence, and rare out‐of‐print publications for use in both scholarly research and the classroom. 

Collection Details


Chicana por mi Raza began collecting oral histories in 2009. Since then, the CPMR team has interviewed more than 52 women. From these interviews we've collected and processed approximately 5500 archival items, with another 3000 or so awaiting digitizing, description and uploading. Most of the oral histories consist of several hours of film footage, and some women have been interviewed more than once. Our online digital repository currently contains approximately 4900 available digital records and over 439 interview clips.


Browse Recovered Histories

Cecilia Burciaga "There is history, it didn’t just appear when you appeared. But maybe that’s what my generation is about, we are the reganionas."

Cecilia has a BA in Teaching Credential from California State University – Fullerton and a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies in Higher Education from the University of California – Riverside. Some doctoral course work was complelted at the University of La Verne.

After moving to Washington, D.C., in year, Cecilia became a Foreign Service Intern for the U.S. Information Agency and a Program Officer for the Interagency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs. She also worked a Commissioner for the US Commission On Civil Rights, and as a teacher in the Chino School District.

Carmen Tafolla “The arts were crucial. They woke us up and they spoke to our hearts and they’re the true revolution.”

Carmen Tafolla was born in San Antonio, Texas on July 29, 1951 to a family with a history in San Antonio going back to the early eighteenth century. A resident of the West Side Barrio of the city, Carmen had a happy childhood immersed in Mexican American culture but was also keenly aware of the discrimination and injustice that those in her neighborhood faced. As part of a long history of neglect by the city, her neighborhood had a severe lack of books and literature, and Carmen was extremely eager to get her hands on anything and everything that she could read.

Maria Anita Guadiana "Nobody knew that there was any difference among each other. We all lived in the same neighborhood, we all lived at the same level of poverty."

Currently a social worker in the Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit, Michigan, Maria Anita Guadiana’s involvement with activism and social justice started young with the help of her father, Jose Guadiana. Born in May 8th, 1948, she was the only daughter to Jose Guadiana and Maria Guadiana who had four boys before Guadiana was born.