For years the Mexican American community in the United States suffered from educational neglect, unemployment, job and political discrimination and law enforcement abuses. In the late nineteen-sixties, a new generation of Mexican Americans–the baby boomers–came of age and demanded changes. In March of 1969, Chicano activists leader Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales convened a National Youth and Liberation Conference in Denver, Colorado. Approximately 1500 Mexican American youths from throughout the United States attended the conference held at the Crusade For Justice in Denver, Colorado, from March 27 to March 31.
This was the first time, on such a large scale, that a generation of Mexican American youth met to discuss common issues of oppression, discrimination and injustice. At the conclusion of the conference the young Mexican Americans returned to their home cities imbued with a new sense of purpose and determination to fight injustice (See LATINOPIA EVENT PROFILE: DENVER YOUTH CONFERENCE)
On the third day of the conference, a rally was held at the steps of the Denver State Capital building in support of Cesar Chávez’s farm workers movement. Featured in the center of this photograph captured on Saturday, March 29th, 1969, is Guadalupe Saavedra of the Teatro Chicano theater company (in dark glasses), Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales (to his immediate right) and other activists from the Crusade for Justice. A Moment in Time of Latino history.