Student Curated Biographies | Chicana por mi Raza

Student Curated Biographies

CPMR relies on the brilliance and motivation of many dedicated undergraduate students to preserve, identify, and create new content related to our holdings. These biographies reflect over 5 years' work by students whom have participated via classes, independent studies, and research seminars. Students are entirely responsible for the creation of these biographies and each biography is an ever-expanding, previously unavailable record of knowledge. Please contact us at with any concerns or updates to the information displayed here.

Emily Martinez “My parents are the ones who taught me what I know.”

Emily Martinez was born in Texas in 1939, and moved to Blissfield, Michigan as a child. The oldest of ten children, Martinez came from a family with a long history of working as migrant farmers. Although her grandparents and parents grew up following the crop from La Feria, Texas to northern Michigan, Martinez’s parents ultimately settled in Blissfield in 1948 to raise their family. In transitioning from being migrant farmworkers to seasonal workers, Martinez’s family experienced racial discrimination in school, in attempting to purchase a home in a white neighborhood, and at work.

Elena Herrada “I really wanted to have a better understanding of the people that I had grown up around and the systems that I had seen oppress people.”

Elena Herrada was born on March 28, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit, becoming involved with activism and Chicano Boricua studies. She graduated in 1980 with a degree in Criminal Justice and a major in Chicano Boricua Studies. Her motivation to graduate partially stemmed from her grandfather, who attended her graduation wearing full revolutionary regalia, shouting, “Viva Herrada!”

Jane Garcia "I had a choice in becoming politically active in one party or another, and I chose this. I had no choice in the rest of the stuff in my life, but I had a choice here."

Jane Garcia was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1948. She attended public and parochial schools, and is a graduate of Wayne State Community College. She is a licensed social worker, a former cosmetologist, and a constant advocate for positive social change in Detroit. Garcia has spent decades working for the United States Bureau of the Census, focusing on the Midwestern Hispanic population.