By Damarys Ocaña Perez | 02/08/2011 - 08:30
Today at 1:30 p.m. President Obama will 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.
By Damarys Ocaña Perez | 02/04/2011 - 11:09
She was a civil rights hero at age 8, a Rosa Parks before Rosa Parks whose struggle to end school segregation is still shockingly little known by the public, but nevertheless inspired a postal stamp. At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sylvia Mendez will receive an even bigger honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given by the commander in chief. If there was ever a reason to watch a live stream of White House event (at whitehouse.gov/live), this is it.
By Mariela Rosario | 11/18/2010 - 10:11
Sylvia Mendez learned about discrimination at a very young age. When she was just eight years old, her parents attempted to enroll her in a local all-White school, but were refused and told to take their daughter to the all-Mexican school in their California community. Her parents refused, especially when they witnessed the abundance of resources at the all-White school.