LA 500 Archival Image
June 20, 2016

A reception held on May 26th at the Riverside Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties concluded a year-long series of programs for The Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant, which the UCR Library received from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Under the hashtag #LA500, the grant included free screenings of three episodes of the six-part landmark documentary, “Latino Americans,” and special events that were open to the public. The series aimed to explore local Latino and Chicano history and heritage, and to celebrate the Latino and Chicano community’s largely under-recognized role in American history.

University Librarian Steven Mandeville-Gamble welcomed guests to the reception by highlighting the rich Latino and Chicano American history, from the pre-Colonial era to the present day. Mandeville-Gamble ended his remarks with “Sí, se puede,” a motto among Latino and Chicano activists that originated from the United Farm Workers movement. In a lovely moment, the crowd echoed his call.

The reception featured an extraordinary performance by the Mayupatapi Ensemble led by UCR Professor of Ethnomusicology, Dr. Jonathan Ritter.

Following the musical performance, the three founders of grant partner Spanish Town Heritage Foundation, Nancy Melendez, Darlene Trujillo Elliot and Suzanne Armas spoke about the significance of the Trujillo Adobe, their ancestral home. Located in the La Placita area of Riverside, the Trujillo Adobe is a local landmark that connects regional Latino history with Southern California family history.

Riverside Community College District’s Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties hosted this culminating reception. The center was also one of UCR’s partners in the grant, in addition to UC Riverside Chicano Student Programs, the Riverside Public Library, and the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation.

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.