A collaborative joint effort by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Artworks for Milwaukee and local artist Raoul Deal are working on a major mural project to depict the history of the Latino civil rights movement in Milwaukee.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 12, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Friday, Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) learned that Michael Carriere, a history associate professor from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), students from both the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and MSOE, Artworks for Milwaukee and local artist Raoul Deal are working collaborative on a major mural project for Milwaukee’s Southside. An oral history project will document the history of the United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) and aspects of the Latino civil rights movement in Milwaukee that evolved and a mural will begin to be painted on by late Spring or early Summer and will be finished by this Fall depicting the history of the Latino civil rights movement, according to Carriere.
The mural will be placed on the side of the Butters-Fetting Co. building located on 1669 S. 1st Street and intersections S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and W. Historic Mitchell Street.
In late October, Jesús Salas had an oral history interview with Carriere. Salas became the first executive director of UMOS and well respected leader of the migrant rights movement in the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s, including an instrumental leader of the UWM chancellor’s office takeover on August 27, 1970 that resulted in the elimination of a discriminatory policy that kept Latinos from enrolling at UWM and led to the creation of the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute, which later was renamed the Roberto Hernández Center at UWM.
Marla G. Gonis and H. Nelson Goodson had an oral history interview with Carriere on Friday to speak about their mother, Marla O. Anderson who with Salas, Dante Navarro, Giorgio “Goyo” Rivera and José Luis Huerta-Sánchez were arrested on August 27, 1970 at the UWM chancellor’s office for fighting to have equal access to higher education.
Salvador Sánchez, the second UMOS executive director was instrumental in allowing students from UMOS to take part in the UWM takeover in 1970.
The UWM takeover and successful action taken in 1970 by previously mentioned members of the Hispanic community including Roberto Hernández, Armando Orellana, leader of the Council for Education for Latin Americans (CELA) and Ernesto Chacon (Latin American Union for Civil Rights (LAUCR), Lalo Valdez, including Federico Zaragoza, led to the UMOS 80 mile March to Madison from Milwaukee to enforce and create laws for better housing and protecting migrant workers, protests for Welfare and housing rights in Milwaukee, protests against the discriminatory height requirement used by the Milwaukee Police and Fire Department that kept Latinos, Asians and other minorities from getting hired, which was later eliminated allowing for Latinos to become police officers and firefighters, changing state agency policies to allow the hiring of Latinos in the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle, the creation of the Bilingual program by Tony Baez in the Milwaukee Public School District and protests against Miller Brewing and other brewing companies that kept Latinos from getting hired in the early 1970’s.
The Latino civil rights movement was instrumental in changing state laws and creating laws to make Wisconsin a better place to live in the 1970’s. Today, anyone pursuing higher education can easily enroll at any public and private university including technical colleges due to the attributed efforts and success of the Latino community civil rights movement in the mid 1960’s and early 1970’s.