Ruiz, Irene H.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 58

Interview with UMKC chemistry professor Dr. Antonio Sandoval about his life. Born in 1931, he recalls his early childhood on a New Mexico ranch in a Mexican American community, moving to Colorado to be able to attend high school, doing agricultural work, and notes that of his graduating class of 100, he was the only one to go on to earn a PhD. He discusses his mother's hope that he would become a priest but instead majoring in chemistry, enlisting in the army where he worked to support nuclear testing at locations including Los Alamos, going on to earn his PhD from Kansas State University where he almost met his microbiologist wife, and coming to Kansas City where he was on faculty at UMKC and his wife taught at Avila, Rockhurst, and Donnelly colleges. He also discusses his participation in United Mexican American Students (UMAS) and working with his wife in the Catholic church's Marriage Encounter program.

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Interview with IMAGE president and Rockhurst High School teacher Dan Torres about his life and work. Born in 1949, he recounts his early life being raised by supportive grandparents in Las Vegas, New Mexico, working as an agricultural laborer during the summer, and his family's distrust of English-speaking priests. He discusses being expelled from New Mexico Highlands University after a a protest with a Chicano political organization, moving to Kansas City at the age of 20 to study for the priesthood, completing his religious education, and ultimately deciding he was called to be a teacher and not a priest. He went on to work at Westport High School, the Guadalupe Parish Center, and Rockhurst High School, worked in other capacities with young people in the East Bottoms and Westside neighborhoods, and discusses his involvement with IMAGE and other organizations and shares his concerns about Westside development.

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Interview with Kansas City school board member John Rodriguez about his life in Dodge City, Kansas, and later Kansas City, Missouri. Born in 1941, he recalls growing up in a predominantly Mexican area of Dodge City where his father worked in packing houses and for the railroads, educational discrimination faced by Mexican-American students, being unable to get haircuts in Dodge City barbershops, and enlisting in the army. He also discusses visiting Kansas City and being able to see Mexican movies, attend fiestas, and buy Mexican groceries and, while discrimination existed, having access to Mexican barbers and public swimming pools. After studying Spanish and French in college, he began his teaching career in Kansas towns including Elkhart and Hutchinson, and came to Kansas City as Director of Outreach Programs for University of Missouri-Kansas City. He later worked in roles furthering educational opportunity and was elected to the Kansas City School Board in 1975.

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Interview with Lydia Rocha Estevez about her life and Kansas City's Westside neighborhood. Born in 1919, she recalls living within a few blocks in the Westside neighborhood for over 50 years, memories of school and social activities from her youth, protesting public swimming pool segregation, the poor condition of Adams School, which served the predominantly Mexican Westside neighborhood, and being punished for speaking Spanish at school. She also discusses working with her father and brother in wheat fields during the Great Depression, working as a B-25 bomber riveter during World War II, moving away from Kansas City with her husband's job in the foreign service, and working at the Kansas City Public Library and Penn Valley Community College after their return to the area. She notes that her son, Richard Estevez, was principal of Douglass School at the time of her interview.

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Interview with Jose Cedillo about his life and work for the State of Missouri. He discusses his roots in Jalisco, Mexico; his family's immigration to the border city McAllen, Texas, in 1946; his experience as a young student; his father's work at a vegetable packing house, and his mother's work as wife and mother as well as harvest work. The family moved to Kansas City around 1960, and Cedillo recalls his education and various work experiences, and marrying his wife, an immigrant from another area of Mexico. He also discusses his radio show, on which he played a variety of music from Spanish-speaking cultures,

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Interview with Dr. Salomon Flores about his life in Kansas City, Kansas, during the Great Depression and his career. He discusses his parents' immigration to Kansas from Mexico in 1918 and growing up in La Colonia, an area of Kansas City, Kansas made up of Mexican immigrant families near Rosedale from 1928 to the 1950s. He recalls attending a segregated school, going on to attend Ottawa University, and being drafted to serve in Japan during the Korean War before returning to work as a teacher in Humboldt, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, and later moving into higher education. He also shares his recollections of the 1951 Flood, as well as thoughts about discrimination, his academic work and community activism, and his hopes for his children.

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Interview with Department of Housing and Urban Development neighborhood affairs representative Ricardo Parra about his life. Born in 1946, he recalls his family moving from Kansas City, Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri's Westside neighborhood after the 1951 Flood, being called Richard instead of Ricardo in school, and shares memories of neighborhood businesses and neighbors. He also discusses other memories of his school years, his work for the Guadalupe Center and Midwest Council of La Raza, and his involvement with other organizations.

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Interview with Richard Estevez, principal of Douglass Elementary school, about his life and career. He discusses his childhood in the West Side neighborhood, moving to Washington, D.C. and Germany for his father's work with the government, his education, and participating in activities such as playing piano, debating, sports, and student government. He recalls attending college at Rockhurst while working a variety of part time jobs, and changing career ambitions from medicine to education. He discusses his career as a history teacher in the Kansas City School District, being drafted into army service during the Vietnam War, and returning to teaching in the early 1970s before rising into administration.

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Interview with Severiano Alonzo, born in 1938 in the Armourdale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. His father migrated from Aguas Calientes, Mexico and his mother migrated from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. They both finished high school in the Kansas City Area. Severiano grew up on 3rd Street his whole life until the Great Flood of 1953 forced his family to live in Missouri for two years before moving back to Armourdale and rebuilding their house. As a child, Alonzo recalls a community swimming pool that was filled with dirt because the white community did not want to share the pool with the Hispanic community. As a young adult, Alonzo came to the realization that a hard-labor job was not the only way to make a living and decided on a more professional path. In 1968, Alonzo and his brother worked at the Internal Revenue Service and performed various duties throughout their years there. Later, he worked at the Guadalupe Center as Executive Director which propelled him to participate in other community-led organizations such as Image, the GI Forum, and as a Program Coordinator with the Business Management Center, while also serving as a Hispanic program coordinator for federal agencies.

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Interview with Mary Bustamante, resident of the West Side of Kansas City, Missouri. Bustamante was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 2, 1924. Her parents, Manuel Lopez and Elvira Garcia de Lopez escaped the Mexican Revolution by migrating from San Luis Potosi, Mexico to Texas and then moved permanently to Kansas City. Bustamante attended Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Missouri for elementary school and partially completed her high school education at Manual Training High School. In her later years, Bustamante led Guadalupe Center fiestas from small locations up to a larger event at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. She recalls the challenges of creating a kitchen and handling those large scale culinary responsibilities for the fiesta.

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