The history of M.E.Ch.A.
During the end of the 1960s
and early 1970s an era known as the Chicano Movement began. During this
time, the Raza youth brought their political activity to a new level. A
growing awareness erupted throughout California, the Southwest and into
the rest of the country. In Los Angeles, students walked out of their
high schools and demanded Chicano Studies, more Raza teachers, and an
end to the push out rates in the schools. La Raza Unida Party provided
an alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties. The Brown
Berets, the United Farm Workers Union and Cesar Chavez, the Chicano
Moratorium marches protesting the Vietnam War, the journalistic writing
of Ruben Salazar, the artistic works of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF),
and mucho mas contributed to the growing consciousness of a people.
In April of 1969, the
Chicano Coordinating Committee on Higher Education organized a
conference at UC, Santa Barbara. Twenty-nine campuses were invited to
send two delegates and the remaining spaces were reserved for faculty,
administration, and staff. There were plan for only 100 people, but over
100 attended, with a high number of students than expected.
Out of this conference in
Santa Barbara, discussions of a master plan for curriculum needs and a
focus on services needed on the campuses began. From this meeting of
active Raza, Mexican-American Studies was changed to Chicano studies.
The Chicano identity evolved further when the formation of el Movimiento
Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) occurred.
The CSU, Sacramento chapter of
M.E.Ch.A. has existed since 1969. Over 30 years of resistance!
What does M.E.Ch.A. mean?
an acronym for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. In the
decision that was made in Santa Barbara in 1969, the reason for the
change to M.E.Ch.A. was to emphasize Chicanismo and the philosophies
that define it: learning our history, becoming politically aware and
involved, having cultural pride, helping the community, uniting our
gente, and developing our youth. M.E.Ch.A. is also a training ground
for Raza youth. It provides them with an opportunity to organize, become
educated, educate others, and to believe in the potential of the Chicano
community. It is a political consciousness that rejects assimilation and
embraces a difference. It is a rejection fo a history that ignored Raza
and an open mind for the truth. CSUS M.E.Ch.A. is an organization that
seeks to bring the needs of all Raza to the attention of the University.
involves a personal decision to reject assimilation and work towards the
preservation of our cultural heritage. Therefore, the term Chicano is
ground in a philosophy, not a nationality. Chicano is a state of mind,
not a birthright. Recognizing that all people are potential Chicanas and
Chicanos, we encourage those interested in developing a total commitment
to our movement for self-determination for the people of Aztlan to join
M.E.Ch.A.'s purpose at CSUS
increase unity among Raza at CSUS and la comunidad.
education among Chicanos for the betterment of our gente.
and retain our culture through special cultural events sponsored by
and encourage participation of Raza students in political policies,
issues, and processes that concern them.
To form a
working relationship between la comunidad and M.E.Ch.A. de CSUS
Raza students to CSUS.
Raza students at CSUS.
a sense of familia amongst Mechistas at CSUS.
written in the CSUS M.E.Ch.A. bylaws, Article 1, Section 2
are enrolled at CSU, Sacramento and are interested in serving the Raza
community are welcome to our organization.