“In 1970 young Mexican American firebrands in South Texas rose up to demand change, speaking out against discrimination and creating their own political party, which they called La Raza Unida. In the span of about eight years, La Raza Unida energized a youthful following, spread to other states and elected candidates in Texas' predominantly rural Mexican American communities where Anglos historically dominated... Now graying and with a few in their 70s and beyond, some party activists [gathered in Austin, Texas, July 6-7, 2012] for a rare La Raza Unida reunion and conference. " -- Austin American-Statesman.

Maria Elena Martinez was the last chair of the Raza Unida Party in Texas, serving from 1976–78. Maria Elena, who has a Masters in Education from the University of Texas at Austin, worked in private and public education for 34 years, specializing in bilingual education. A volunteer at Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change, a project of the Indigenous Women's Network, Martinez now dedicates her time to spiritual work and healing. Since 1992 she has studied Shamanism through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and is a Minister of the Circle of the Sacred Earth.

Luz Bazan Gutierrez was in Crystal City at the formation of the Raza Unida Party and was the first Raza Unida Party county chair for the state of Texas. Then married to Raza Unida founder Jose Angel Guitterez, she was instrumental in a move to empower women in the male-dominated movement. Luz Bazan was named one of “100 People of Influence” by Pacific Magazine, and has received a national Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with the Latino community and a Peace and Justice award for her work related to empowering low income persons. She is president and CEO of Rural Community Development Resources in Yakima, Washington.

Host and Producer of Rag Radio: Thorne Dreyer; Engineer and Co-Producer: Tracey Schulz. Rag Radio (koop.org/ragradio) is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog (theragblog.blogspot.com) and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Contact: ragradio@koop.org Running time: 54:27.


La Raza Unida Party Reunion
July 6th and 7th, 2012
Austin, Texas