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Graciela Olivarez
Graciela Olivarez is a famous Mexican American women because her accomplishment of being the first female, and the first Latina to graduate as a lawyer from University of Notre Dame. She is also well known because of her constant fighting for the minorities.
Graciela Olivarez was born in March 9, 1928. She is the daughter of a Spanish man and a Mexican American woman. First,she used to live in Sonora, and then she moved with her family to Ray, Arizona. There she used to live in a very small town that was known to be a mining town in Arizona and it was mostly populated by Mexican American miner workers and their families. Just like we have read in different readings throughout the course, miners were from the low socioeconomic level, and had a lot of economicproblems, and in this situation her family was also included. In her junior year of high school she decided to drop out of school, and she decided to move to a bigger city and the city that she choose was Phoenix. She began to open her path in life at a very short age. She started working as a secretary, then as an engineer, a radio personality, and then got to be director for the Spanish-language radiostation, KIFN from 1952 to 1966. She attended business college for a while, but it looked like school was not her thing, and she went for the work area instead. In that time she had her son Victor in 1959 and she got divorced two years later in 1961.
She was very involved in the fought of economic justice for poor people, and being a known woman because of her position in KIFN she used her fameto help Mexican American with economic problems in Phoenix. I think that her willing to help the poor ones was probably because of her own situation when she lived back home with her parents in Ray, Arizona. After she got her divorce was when she started to become more known for her defending towards minority groups, and she also started to get more involved because she had more opportunities toaccomplish her purpose. In 1962, she addressed the panel for the US Civil Rights Commission that held a hearing where she lived, in Phoenix.
Throughout her life she did a lot of important things for Mexican Americans. For example, from 1962 to 1966 she was a member of the philanthropic Choate foundation, and she sought ways in order to help lower the juvenile delinquency in Mexican American youthpopulation. The War on Poverty is a legislation that was created by Lyndon B. Johnson. This was proposed in response to the poverty rate that was about the 19 percent. This speech passed the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Economic Opportunity Office which was in 1966 directed by Olivarez. After all this accomplishments that she had done, she decided to go back to school in orderto be more prepared in an educational level and thanks to Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, Civil Rights Commission and the University of Notre Dame President Olivarez was invited to attend law school, and get her degree. In 1970 she graduated, and she became the first female and Mexican American woman to graduate from law school in Notre Dame. I think that this was a great accomplishment in her life,because spite all the discrimination that was occurring against Mexican Americans, and women she became a successful woman and an important person that had a position that a lot of people wished to have.
One of the most significant positions that she had was in 1970 when President Richard Nixon asked her to be vice-chair of the President’s Commission on Population and the American Future. In 1972,most of the majority commissions report supported the liberalization of abortion laws, but Olivarez did not agree with this situation. She said that abortion was a way to encourage males to continue to be irresponsible, and it denied the opportunity to be justice for the child that was not being born, and this is true because a child doesn’t have the fault of the behaviors of their parents, and...
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