UTPA students provide photos for Texas history books
Contact: University Relations 381-2741
Posted: 09/11/2002
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Students from the socio-cultural foundations of education class at The University of Texas-Pan American will have family photographs portrayed in Texas history books as part of a way to document Hispanic history.

Students from the socio-cultural foundations of education class at UTPA will have old family photograhs featured in Texas history books. Pictured are, front row, Bertha Davidson; Juan Escobedo; Dora Maldonado; Dr. Velma Menchaca, UTPA professor; Ricardo Rodriguez; and Victor Perez. Back row are Alex Rodriguez; Scott Stripling; Maria Flores; Alban Benavides; Issac Rodriguez; Rebecca Hernandez and Ricardo Garcia

Students responded to a request from Helen Berlanga, a State Board of Education member, to send in photographs after she stated that the history of the Mexican American population was not represented in textbooks.

"I agree with Berlanga in diversifying our Texas textbooks to be more representative of the student population," said Dr. Velma Menchaca, UTPA professor.

The photos submitted by students depicted farm workers, wedding celebrations and Mexican Americans participating in political or civil struggles.

"There is not one culture that stands alone in creating this great country but an array of different cultures; therefore, everyone needs to be given credit," said Alban Benavides, UTPA student. "All children need to see their cultural contribution in the education system. Not only will it give them ownership, but also self-respect and self-worth."

Menchaca, along with her class, recently traveled to Austin to meet with Berlanga, and participated in reviewing the text books.