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UCSB Conference Looks at 1968 East LA Walkout

Calls 40-Year-Old Event Pivotal in Creating Modern Chicano Movement


Honoring the 40th anniversary of the 1968 walkout of thousands of East Los Angeles high school students, UCSB will hold a conference discussing the event itself and the resulting school reforms.

Organized in 1963 by former Lincoln High School faculty member Sal Castro, Chicano Youth Leadership Conferences (CYLC) awakened students to the educational repression existing within their inner city schools and inspired them to take action. Five years later, in March of 1968, nearly 20,000 Latino students from five public high schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), enraged with poor educational conditions, historic discrimination, and segregation, walked out of their classrooms yelling “Blowout, walkout!”. Chicano studies experts mark this even and helping shape the urban Chicano Movement. Since then, schools have employed more Mexican American teachers and administrators, established bilingual education and Chicano studies, and placed greater emphasis on academic subjects, encouraging Mexican American students to attend college.

UCSB professor of history and Chicano/a studies Mario T. Garcia will give the keynote address, titled “Blowout: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice.” Also present will be Sal Castro and several Lincoln and Garfield High alumni who participated in the march. Co-Sponsored by UCSB’s Chicano Studies Institute and Chicano/Latino Research Focus Group, the conference, entitled “Blowout: The 40th Anniversary Conference on the 1968 East Los Angeles Chicano Student Walkouts”, will take place at UCSB on February 20 at 2 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Bianca Licata is an Independent intern.

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