Rita J. Martinez
2019 Corn Mother Honoree
For over 40 years, our comadre (friend and colleague) Rita was a cornerstone in movement building and community organizing, in her home community of Pueblo, and throughout Colorado. Rita had a reputation for bringing people together for direct action, fighting for justice, and building power within marginalized communities. She became politicized in the 1970s during the Chicano Movement, while organizing around local police brutality issues, working on the newspaper La Cucaracha, and working with the Pueblo Neighborhood Health Centers as a staff person and board member. She was adamant that “el movimiento sigue” (“the movement continues”) and this was apparent in her continued leadership to ensure culturally relevant organizing. For years, Rita organized occasions and movements like Cinco de Mayo, Teatro de la Lucha, Abolish Columbus Day, and Día de la Raza. She was the impetus behind the formation of the Colorado Chicano Movement Archives at CSU-Pueblo. Rita ably included current issues in her continued documentation of the Chicano Movement in books and historic exhibits, ensuring that there are historically accurate accounts of a movement that continues to form and politicize generations of Chicanx people.
Rita J. Martinez was born on October 28, 1955 and passed away on December 10, 2020
Epigenetics—We are the people of the corn, a deep spiritual and cultural symbol of our greatness throughout time.
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