Orozco obtained her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA and Ph.D. from UCLA. She taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of New Mexico. She is the co-editor of Mexican Americans in Texas History, an associate editor of Latinas in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia, and served as Research Associate at the Texas State Historical Association where she wrote 80 articles on Texas history for the Handbook of Texas.
She has also worked as Research Associate at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Orozco received two Ford Foundation grants to complete her book research. She currently teaches World Humanities, Western Civilization, and Lincoln County history at ENMU-Ruidoso, New Mexico and was appointed to the New Mexico Humanities Council by Governor Richardson. The Texas State Historical Association named Orozco a fellow in 2012.
The essayist Adela Sloss-Vento (1901–1998) was a powerhouse of activism in South Texas’s Lower Rio Grande Valley throughout the Mexican American civil rights movement beginning in 1920 and the subsequent Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. At last presenting the full story of Sloss-Vento’s achievements, Agent of Change revives a forgotten history of a major female Latina leader.
Bringing to light the economic and political transformations that swept through South Texas in the 1920s as ranching declined and agribusiness proliferated, Cynthia E. Orozco situates Sloss-Vento’s early years within the context of the Jim Crow/Juan Crow era. Recounting Sloss-Vento’s rise to prominence as a public intellectual, Orozco highlights a partnership with Alonso S. Perales, the principal founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Agent of Change explores such contradictions as Sloss-Vento’s tolerance of LULAC’s gender-segregated chapters, even though the activist was an outspoken critic of male privilege in the home and a decidedly progressive wife and mother. Inspiring and illuminating, this is a complete portrait of a savvy, brazen critic who demanded reform on both sides of the US-Mexico border.