The O'Connor Lecture --October 13, 2022
From Loretta Sanchez
Father Luis Olivares, the Sanctuary Movement and Mexican American Catholic History
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022
3:30 to 5 p.m., Lecture
Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, Law Alumni Room
5 to 6:30 p.m., Reception
Law School Administration Building, Atrium
The author of Father Luis Olivares, A Biography: Faith Politics and the Origins of the Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles (2018), García tells the amazing story of the Los Angeles sanctuary movement’s champion, Father Olivares, a Catholic priest and a charismatic, faith-driven leader for social justice. Beginning in 1980 and continuing for most of the decade, hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees made the hazardous journey to the United States, seeking asylum from political repression and violence. They were rebuffed by the Reagan Administration, which supported the governments from which they fled. A powerful sanctuary movement rose up to provide safe havens in churches and synagogues for thousands of Central American refugees.
García traces the life of a complex and constantly evolving individual, from Olivares’s humble beginnings in San Antonio’s Westside to his close friendship with legendary civil rights leader Cesar Chavez and his historic leadership of the United Neighborhoods Organization and the sanctuary movement.
About the Speaker
Mario García received his Ph.D. in History from the University of California at San Diego. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of 20 books in Chicano history, including Novel in the Chicano and Latino Experience (2016); Desert Immigrants: The Mexicans of El Paso, 1880-1920 (1981); and Mexican Americans: Leadership, Ideology and Identity, 1930-1960 (1989).
About the Lecture
This free lecture is made possible by the O’Connor Chair in the History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest Endowment, a gift of the Thomas O’Connor Family of Victoria, Texas. Co-Sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies.