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TEXANS FOR THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT OF MEXICAN AMERICANS

TEXANS FOR THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT OF MEXICAN AMERICANS. TEAMA, a federally funded community information program of parent education operated by Mexican Americans, was based in San Antonio from 1970 to 1972 and served twelve counties. In September 1970, under the Emergency School Assistance Program, Congress authorized money for "school districts facing problems associated with school desegregation." African Americans obtained most of the funds, but Mexican Americans in San Antonio under TEAMA and in Houston under the Mexican American Education Council also received grants. The United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare of the Nixon administration awarded TEAMA a $293,694 grant for a twelve-county program. TEAMA's first officers included Josue M. González (president) and Hubert Miller (first vice president). Members came from Lubbock, Edinburg, San Antonio, Austin, and Del Rio. TEAMA hired Raymond Sánchez as executive director. Frank Alvárez, Jr., edited the TEAMA newsletter Mexitli, later renamed Voz del Consejo. The publication, was distributed to "all barrio citizens in the selected counties," carried articles about citizens' rights, federal programs, Hispanic history, education, and discrimination. TEAMA membership was open to all adults. Regional chapters required at least ten members. Meetings were held quarterly in various parts of Texas. TEAMA established an Educational Group Action Project that was approved by HEW and initiated projects in school districts with segregation problems in Abilene, Amarillo, Brownfield, Cuero, El Campo, Fort Bend, Galveston, Kingsville, Lamar, Lamesa, San Angelo, San Antonio, and Sweetwater. TEAMA organized neighborhood councils in these towns and cities. In San Antonio, councils were formed at St. Mary's University, Cassiano Park, and San Juan, near Lanier High School. TEAMA chapters were also formed in other communities such as Crystal City and Austin.

The councils identified school problems in their localities and sponsored parent workshops. They noted the lack of representation on school boards as a statewide problem: 22 percent of Texas students were Hispanic, but only 10 percent of the school boards had Hispanic members. At the request of the Department of Justice, TEAMA drew up educational plans for the Sonora ISD that were accepted by the district. The organization also helped plan the consolidation of the Del Rio and San Felipe school districts. Councils organized their own local events. When the Kingsville group invited historian Cleofas Calleroqv to a function, 500 attended the event. The San Antonio chapter supported a march against police violence. The Cassiano council fought for sidewalk and street improvement for children walking to school. Lanier High School in San Antonio was identified as a segregated school by the San José Consejo. Since the school enrollment was 66 percent Mexican American, they argued, demography prevented "contact with other ethnics." The El Campo Consejo and the East Texas Consejos del Barrios raised $8,000 for the son of a migrant worker in need of a kidney transplant. TEAMA also supported the right of students to "petition for grievances, and boycott classes" in support of Mexican-American students and parents who were picketing the Southside San Antonio and Uvalde schools. In July 1970 the Austin TEAMA chapter presented a bicultural education session at a Raza Unida party conference. TEAMA wrote a proposal to the John Hay Whitney Foundation for funding to conduct an investigation of the Texas Rangerqv' reputed historical role in suppressing the Mexican-descent community. TEAMA also established a Chicano library, allegedly the most thorough in the state at the time. TEAMA apparently dissolved when federal funding ended in 1972.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Joe Bernal Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin. George I. Sanchez Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

Cynthia E. Orozco

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Cynthia E. Orozco, "TEXANS FOR THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT OF MEXICAN AMERICANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kat12), accessed July 24, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.