Thursday, August 16th

Avelardo Valdez, now a professor at the University of Southern California, then a young community organizer known as “Lalo.”.(Photo: University of Southern California, )

Editor's note: Avelardo Valdez grew up in Milwaukee, worked as a civil rights activist and served as editor of La Guardia, a Spanish-English language newspaper published in Milwaukee in the 1970s. Today he is a professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work and Sociology and has written extensively on issues surrounding Latinos in the U.S.

This essay reflects on activism that grew from a 1968 protest.

It was the summer of 1968. The year has been described as one of the most socially and politically tumultuous in the history of the United States.

As a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee senior majoring in social work, and a self-proclaimed organizer, I remember only one other Latino undergraduate among all the students I met at UWM that year.