Educator, historian and social activist Rodolfo Acuña, Ph.D., has been named Distinguished Speaker for the Community for a presentation on "Mexican Americans in U.S. History," scheduled in late April at the Performing Arts Center at Moorpark High School, a spokesman for the event said Monday.
The event is being organized by directors of the Teaching American History Programs of Ventura County, Will Donley of Moorpark High said.
The public is invited to the presentation, from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday April 25 at 4500 Tierra Rejada Road, Moorpark. There is no charge for admission.
Acuña was born in Los Angeles and he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees and his teaching credential at Los Angeles State College, Donley said.
"He then worked as a junior high and high school social studies teacher in Los Angeles public schools before moving on to become a professor at Pierce College in 1965," Donley said.
While working full time, Acuña also earned his doctorate from USC in Latin American Studies. In 1969, he began his teaching career at California State University, Northridge as a co-founder of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department and its first chair person, Donley said.
In 1972, Acuña published his landmark history of Mexican Americans in the United States, "Occupied America, A History of Chicanos."
Now in its seventh edition it is a standard text used in colleges across the country, Donley said. Acuña is currently working on the eighth edition and continues to teach as a professor emeritus at CSUN.
"Throughout his career Dr. Acuña has been a strong voice in the Mexican American community," Donley said. "Active in many Chicano organizations, he has been called 'the quintessential scholar/activist.'"
Acuña has been presented the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Chicano Studies and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Donley said. He has also taken a leading role in the fight over censoring and banning Mexican American studies classes in the state of Arizona.
For more info about Acuña, visit www.csun.edu/~hfchs006/FacultyBios/RodolfoAcuna.