One America - Santos Rodriguez Project

Program: Santos Rodriguez Project, Seattle, WA
Contact(s): Roberto Maestas, Executive Director: (206) 329-9442
Purpose: To educate, inspire, motivate and empower participants through the words and actions of civil rights and community leaders

Background Program Operations Outcomes


El Centro De La Raza, established in 1972, is a community center that promotes international peace and understanding, interracial cooperation and the empowerment of all people. The organization offers an array of programs ranging from lectures on foreign affairs to cultural and educational exchanges at the grassroots level. Among the many notable programs undertaken by El Centro De La Raza is the Santos Rodriguez Project. This project offers two classes, one on Chicano/Latino/Mexicano history and the other on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Both classes offer community residents an opportunity to learn about cultural and social movements in the United States, such as the Civil Rights Movement. The classes also allow people to exchange ideas on race in America that are not covered by mainstream media and the educational system at large.

Program Operations

The class on Dr. King was established in 1988 to promote community dialogue on race and propose improvements in racial understanding and community interaction. The class explores Dr. King's work and considers the ramifications that his lectures and books have had on contemporary America. The Chicano/Latino/Mexicano history classes started in 1996 to provide participants with a contextual understanding of the historical contributions made by people of Latin and Mexican descent. Both of these classes are part of an after-school program that provide interested youth with an understanding of diverse cultural, political and historical backgrounds, and an opportunity to discuss social justice and race in America. They use documentary information and guest lectures by professors and community activists to create a curriculum that is interactive and engaging. The average class size for both programs is about 30 participants.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

More than 100 participants have attended the Chicano/Latino/Mexicano history class since 1996. In the past 10 years, 500 people from different races have taken the Dr. King course.

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