THIS WEEK ON LATINOPIA: REMEMBERING VAHAC MARDIROSIAN: HIS EARLY YEARS, SAL CASTRO & THE EICC AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SIT-IN, AND LUIS TORRES ON DONA JULIA’S CHILDREN, THE BIOGRAPHY OF VAHAC MARDIROSIAN.
Hola Latinopians! This week we celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights activist and education reformer Rev. Vahac Mardirosian who passed away on August 17, 2018. In 1968, when Chicano students walked out of the four major East Los Angeles high school to protest the inferior education they were receiving, they were met with police arrest and public scorn. But standing up for the students was an Armenian Mexican Baptist minister, Rev. Vahac Mardirosian. Within a short time, Mardirosian was elected to chair the Educational Issues Coordinating Committee, an ad hoc parent, student and teacher group advocating for educational reform in the Los Angeles School district. We have three videos showcasing Vahac Mardirosian’s important contributions.
The first is an interview with him about his early years when his family fled the 1915 Armenian genocide and settled in Tijuana. Due to their death, Vahac was orphaned but raised by a Mexican family and went on to study the ministry in the United States. The second video is about the formation of the Educational Issues Coordinating Committee and its work to advance educational reform in the schools. The third video is about the sit-in at the office of the Los Angeles School Board to protest the ouster of a beloved Mexican American teacher from his teaching post and the, led by Mardirosian, which lasted for seven days and resulted in the reinstatement of an ousted teacher. Mardirosian would go on to found the Parent Institute for Quality Education, a group education parents on how to provide educational resources for their children.,which over the years has graduate more than 600,00 parents.
A memorial for Rev. Vahac Mardirosian will be held at the Los Angeles based LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 Main Street, Los Angeles, California on Friday October 12th, 2018.
Also this week, we feature an interview with Luis Torres, whose book Doña Julia’s Children, is the biography of Vahac Mardirosian.
Enjoy your week on Latinopia!