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

Anna Nieto Gomez "Where it is hostile there's always a little self-hate...always...because you're just projecting out. So, I guess that is the healing part."

Anna NietoGomez was born on March 30, 1946 and was raised on the west side of San Bernadino County, California. NietoGomez recalls that growing up in a segregated community made her aware of racism from an early age. She also recounts growing up in a home where power dynamics between her mother and father were more pragmatic and egalitarian. It was these early insights and environments that would propel NietoGomez into a powerful journey of activism and revolutionary scholarly work.

Martha Cotera "My upbringing had a strong dose of progressive politics."

Martha Cotera was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1938. Cotera describes her upbringing as having a strong dose of progressive politics as a result of her grandparents’ interest in Mexican politics. In 1946, Cotera and her mother immigrated to El Paso, Texas. Cotera was reluctant to move and encountered racist policies in both elementary school and high school while in Texas. Despite these challenges, she describes herself as a “total overachiever” in high school as she was a member of the Writing club, English club, and editor of the school newspaper.

Barbara Carrasco "I learned at that early age that the word 'no,' or rejection, you can really turn it around if you're determined to get some place."

Barbara Carrasco holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts. She has been a muralist and artist in various media since her childhood.