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Hispanic Great Debaters Profile: Mimi Lozano

Nov 20, 2017 7:00:00 AM Erik Fogel Mimi Lozano

"We do not want our story to get lost. We do not want to be invisible ever again. Latinos have been invisible for a long time and if we tell our true story and history, the world will know who we are.” - Mimi Lozano

Nohemi Lozano, an educator and activist for Hispanic rights, was born 84 years ago in San Antonio, Texas. 

Growing up as a Mexican-American during the Great Depression, she often felt marginalized by fellow Americans because of her heritage. Through education, she helped others realize that everyone has a place in this country.

As a child, her family struggled financially, and her parents had difficulty finding work due to discrimination. Her family also had to live in fear of deportation due to the Mexican repatriation program, a government initiative during the 1930's that led to mass deportations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who held green cards or had been born in the United States. 

As an adult, Mimi used her position as an educator and nonprofit leader to bring awareness to the unjust treatment of Mexican-Americans and to promote a more positive view of her heritage. She advocated for multiculturalism and diversity through inclusive instruction to make sure that all students learned about the contributions of Hispanic-Americans.

Her work also gives young people the opportunity to feel proud of their ancestors. Mimi co-founded the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Hispanics research their family history and preserving Hispanic ancestry, and publishes Somos Primos, a publication that celebrates Hispanic culture and heritage. 

Throughout her life, Mimi used her skills as an advocate to build a more just society for Americans of Hispanic descent. Through education, she helped others embrace multiculturalism and gave a voice to marginalized people.

"Lozano, was named California’s 68th Assembly District’s 2006 Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Van Tran. The annual Woman of the Year celebration at the State Capitol was founded by Assembly members Bev Hansen (R) and Sally Turner (D) in 1987 in honor of Women’s History Month and is sponsored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.[2] Lozano is credited with pressing the Archives and other federal agencies to acknowledge publicly the significant contributions of Hispanics nationwide.[1] She is quoted in Weekly Report as saying: [4]

"There are too many such stories long ignored, but there’s still time to add them to the nation’s historical record for future generations to integrate our historical contributions into the history and development of the U.S. We have been viewed as separate and apart, when in fact we provided a foundation. These events will reveal that truth of our continual presence and support" (Wikipedia)

Mimi proved that anyone can change the world by changing one opinion at a time. Joining debate team is a great way to get the skills you need to follow in her footsteps!

Erik Fogel

Written by Erik Fogel