CONTEXT: In 1929, three Mexican Americans organizations in Texas, the Sons of America, the Knights of America and United Latin American Citizens merged to create the oldest national Latino civil rights organization in America, the League of United Mexican Americans Citizens (LULAC). Motivated by widespread discrimination against people of Mexican descent, this group of Tejanos, vowed to claim their rightful place in American society. Today, LULAC continues to champion Latino civil rights through its many national programs and chapters. Below is the philosophy, aims and principles of LULAC as articulated in their original Constitution.
CONSTITUTION OF THE LEAGUE OF
UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS
We, the members of this organization, with unfaltering faith in the Divine Power of Almighty God and invoking His Gracious Blessings, do hereby ordain and establish this constitution to guide the destinies of our League in accordance with the Philosophy and Aims and Purposes herein set.
Section 1—Name: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) shall be the official name of this organization and the one under which all business and activities of the constituted body shall be carried out. The word LULAC, which is formed by official abbreviated title of the League, may be used in lieu of the full name of the organization in any and all instances where it is apropos. At no time may the name LULAC be written in other than capital letters.
Section 2—Legal Status:
The League of United Latin American Citizens shall be incorporated and chartered under the laws of each of the states in which it operates as a civic and non-profit organization and under the Federal laws of the United States of America.
Section 3—Composition: The League of United Latin American Citizens shall be made up of affiliated councils which shall be chartered by the National Board of Directors under authority of the National Assembly as set forth in this Constitution.
We believe in the democratic principle of individual political and religious freedom, the right of equality of social and economic opportunity, and in the cooperative endeavor toward the development of an American Society wherein the cultural resources, integrity and dignity of every individual and group constitute basic assets of the American way of Life.
2.We believe that as American Citizens we must assume our duties and responsibilities and assert our rights and privileges in pursuit of a fuller and richer civilization for our country. We believe that education is the foundation for the cultural growth and development of this nation and that we are obligated to promote, protect and assure the right of our people to an education that is in accordance with the best American educational principles and standards; that we must deplore any infringement of this right wherever it may occur and regardless of whom it may affect. We accept that it is not only the privilege but the obligation of every member of this organization to uphold and defend the rights and duties vested in every American Citizen by the letter and spirit of the Law of the Land.
Aims and Purposes
Based on the spirit of the philosophy of our League and having unequivocal faith in its righteousness, we propose:
1.To use all constitutional means at our disposal to implement with social action the principles set forth in our philosophy;
2.To foster the learning and fluent use of the English language that we may thereby equip ourselves and our families for the fullest enjoyment of our rights and privileges and the efficient discharge of our duties and responsibilities to our country, but at the same time, exerting equal effort to foster the fluent mastery of the Spanish language which is part of our heritage and a means of extending the cultural horizons of our nation;
3.To constitute the League into a service organization to actively promote and foster suitable measures for the attainment of the highest of our American society, and to establish cooperative relations with civic and governmental institutions and agencies in the field of public service;
4.To exert our united efforts to uphold the rights guaranteed to every individual by our state and national laws and to assure justice and equal treatment under these laws;
5.To combat with every means at our command all un-American tendencies and actions that deprive American citizens of their rights in educational institutions, in economic pursuits and in social, civic and political
6.To maintain the League free of all involvement in partisan politics as an organization; however, we shall oppose any infringement upon the constitutional political rights of an individual to vote and/or be a candidate at local, state and national levels;
7.To oppose any violent demonstrations or other acts that defy constituted law and authority, desecrate the symbols of our nation, and threaten the physical and spiritual welfare of individuals or institutions;
8.To promote and encourage the education of youth and adults through scholarships, the constant vigilance of administrative and instructional practices in schools which deprive persons of educational opportunities, the
sponsorship of classes in citizenship and other areas, and through the dissemination of information about available training opportunities;
9.To make use of every medium of communication at our disposal and to exert our combined efforts to promulgate and propagate the principles of the League, and augment its influence and numerical growth;
10.To undergird the efforts postulated in our Aims and Purposes with the overall objective of creating among our fellow citizens, through example and a mutual exchange of concepts, an understanding and recognition of and an
appreciation for the dignity, worth and potential of the individual.