Sylvia Mendez helped end 100 years of segregation in California

During this Hispanic Heritage Month we honor Sylvia Mendez who helped change life for Mexican children in California when legal action ended segregation.

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Sylvia ¬†was the daughter of Gonzalo Mendez,a Mexican immigrant and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant. Like most parents, they wanted Sylvia and her two brothers to get a good education but they were not allowed to enroll into a “white” school.

Sylvia’s parents and other parents filed a class action lawsuit in 1945 on behalf of more than 5,000 children who attended segregated schools. They won the lawsuit.

In February 2011, President Obama awarded Sylvia Mendez the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Today Sylvia Mendez continues to share her story in schools across the country.

More information:

History on Sylvia Mendez 

Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Hispanic women who have changed the world

This Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15- Oct. 15) we will be honoring Hispanic women who have worked to make life better for others, especially the Hispanic community.

These are women who have made an impact in education, politics, art, journalism, science, civil rights, tech and other fields. Some of these Hispanic leaders are still with us today and some are not, but their legacy lives on.

MARIA L. DE HERNANDEZ FOUGHT AGAINST SEGREGATION IN TEXAS SCHOOLS

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Read more about Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez and her hard work.

Texas State Historical Association