Mendez vs. Westminster Medal of Freedom

Today at 1:30 p.m. President Obamawill place the Medal of Freedom on civil rights and education activist Sylvia Mendez for her work as a Latino education activist. We spoke to the Washington, DC–bound Mendez as she prepared to leave her home in Santa Ana, California, where 64 years ago her parents lead the landmark school desegregation case Mendez v. Westminster that paved the way for the integration of California schools, and later, schools nationwide.

This is a beautiful example of a MexiRican family fighting for civil rights. Sylvia Mendez’ father, Gonzalo Méndez was Mexican and her mother Felicitas, was a native of Puerto Rico. They settled in Westminster, California, in 1943.

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