A collaborative joint effort by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Artworks for Milwaukee and local artist Raoul Deal are completing a mural project to depict the history of UMOS and Latinos in Milwaukee.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
August 11, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Thursday, local high school student interns including university students and lead artist Raoul Deal unveiled a preview of a mural that they are making about the 50-year history of United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) during their Culture Work Mural Project Summer Celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Student Union Art Gallery. Since last February, the teens have been conducting interviews, doing research, and creating designs for the mural. They are now in the midst of the painting process of the actual UMOS mural depicting the Latino Civil Rights movement in Milwaukee.
The final large-scale UMOS 90 foot long X 10 foot high mural will be placed at the Butters-Fetting building on S. 1st Street, S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and W. Historic Mitchell Street in the Spring of 2017, according to artist Deal.
A statement released by ArtWorks for Milwaukee says, that the UMOS mural depicts a series of themes that includes the struggle for farm workers and migrant rights, work opportunities, family, education, culture and the civil rights movement by Latinos in Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee. The UMOS mural project interviews revealed pieces of history that linked efforts by student organizers to improve higher education access for Latinos and celebrates the struggles and achievements of Latinos in the state including the UWM Chapman Hall Takeover that eliminated a discriminatory policy that prevented Latinos from enrolling at the university. The UWM Takeover led to the creation of the Spanish Speaking Outeach Institute, which later was renamed the Roberto Hernández Center at UWM.
This month, the 46th Anniversary of the August 27, 1970 UWM Chapman Hall Takeover by the Latino community will be remembered by those who have benefited by its success to continue to provide an opportunity to enroll at a university or college in Wisconsin today.
A special tribute to Marla O. Anderson who with Jesus 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 in 1970 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, college 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.
Salas was the first Mexican-American in 1969 to become the UMOS Executive Director and today Lupe Martinez, is the current President and CEO of UMOS. Last year, UMOS celebrated its 50th Anniversary for providing social services to the community.
Video: Presentation at the Culture Work Mural Project Summer Celebration at UWM https://youtu.be/Z1UQSyRcnWY
In loving Memory and Special Tribute to our dearly departed leaders and community founders/activists
• Juan V. Alvarez
• Marla O. Anderson
• Manuel Ayala
• Miguel Berry
• Danny Campos
• Raul Cano
• Camila Casarez
• Alfonso Flores
• Raul Flores
• Enriqueta Gonzalez
• Gloria Gonzalez
• Irma Guerra
• Loyd J. Guzior
• Roberto Hernández
• Pantaleon Hill
• Manuela Hill
• Mary Lou Massignani
• Mary Ann McNulty
• Genevieve Medina
• Julia Mendoza
• Dante Navarro
• Maria Ortega
• Juanita Renteria
• Francisco “Panchillo” Rodriguez
• T. Carlos “Charlie” Salas
• Dorothy Torres
• Luis Torres
Video link depicting the history, including news clips of the UWM takeover, SSOI, Roberto Hernández Center at UWM and events leading to higher education for countless of Hispanics in Wisconsin: http://tinyurl.com/3e6odcb
Update: The UMOS Cultural Mural will be unveiled on May 20, 2017 at the Butters-Fetting Co., Inc. located at 1669 S.1st. Street in Milwaukee, WI from 2 p.m. to 5p.m.