Westside San Antonio: Taking it Public Conference 2022: Taking it Public

Westside San Antonio: Taking It Public

Public History and Community – 2022 Conference Schedule

Co-sponsors: St. Mary’s University and Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

This conference, “Westside San Antonio: Taking It Public,” is a collaboration between St. Mary’s University’s Public History Program and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. St. Mary’s prepares students to research and disseminate history about the Westside while Esperanza’s grass-roots activism is committed to community-based historical research and preservation. Engaging multidisciplinary topics, both institutions are inherently humanistic and focused on people and their journeys. Such collaboration brings together individuals with diverse knowledge, interests, skills, and talents in a joint commitment to telling the much-neglected histories of the Westside. The historical research will find its way into different venues such as St. Mary’s Public History’s Westside San Antonio Humanities website and the Esperanza Center’s La Voz de Esperanza publication and Museo del Westside, as well as scholarly articles and books. Our goal is for students, grass-roots community members, and scholars to learn from each other and encourage continuing collaboration in the interest of public history and historic preservation.

The conference is funded by the O’Connor Chair for the History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest, an endowment gift of the Thomas M. O’Connor Family of Victoria, Texas. St. Mary’s University is grateful to the O’Connor family for ensuring that since 1983 Hispanic history of Texas and the Southwest has enjoyed a prominent place in the History Department’s academic focus.

Registration for this event is free and open to the public. We highly encourage community members with Westside stories to share to attend this event.

Masks will be required at the Esperanza Center and recommended at St. Mary’s University — since we’re bringing together communities, please consider masking to help take care of each other.

Friday, April 8, 2022

St. Mary’s University
Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, Law Alumni Room
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, Texas 78228

Opening: 12:30-12:45 p.m.

Leona Pallansch, Ph.D., Interim Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, St. Mary’s University


Introductory Remarks
Gerald E. Poyo, Ph.D., O’Connor Chair for the History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest, St. Mary’s University

Graciela Sánchez, Director, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Session 1 – 12:45-1:45 p.m. The Westside:  Communities and Demographics

Gerald Poyo, Ph.D., O’Connor Chair for History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest, St. Mary’s University, “The Multiplicity of Westside Neighborhoods and Communities”

René Zenteno, Ph.D., Professor of Demography, College for Health, Community and Policy, University of Texas at San Antonio, “Westside Demographics”

Session 2 – 2:00-3:15 p.m. Cultural Preservation:  The Making of Westside Cultural Institutions

Malena González-Cid, Executive Director, Centro Cultural Atzlán, “Centro Cultural Atzlán, 1977”

Juan Tejeda, musician, writer, ex-jefe Danzante Mexica-Azteca, arts administrator, educator, activist, publisher, “The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, 1984”

Graciela Sánchez, Executive Director, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, “The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 1987”

Session 3 – 3:30-4:45 p.m.  Doing Westside Neighborhood History and Preservation

Graciela Sánchez, Director, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, “Preservation and Social Justice”

Donna Guerra, Director, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Archives;  Esperanza Archives; Westside Preservation Alliance (WPA);  Museo del Westside; “Museo del Westside”

Antonia Castañeda, Westside Preservation Alliance (WPA), Professor Emerita, St. Mary’s University, “WPA: Concentización, Policy, and Preservation”

Reception 5:00-6:30p.m. – National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States (NAMPUS); located at St. Mary’s University, near Culebra entrance.
Reception courtesy of Mary Kenney, Archivist, NAMPUS.

Featuring an exhibit: “Faith, Education and Charity: Marianist Origins in San Antonio, 1852-1927” 

SATURDAY, April 9, 2022

Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
922 San Pedro Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78212

Session 4 –  9:00-10:15 p.m. Westside Water, Politics & Environment

Lindsey Wieck, Ph.D., Director, Graduate Public History Program, St. Mary’s University, “The Westside Flood of 1921”

Victoria Villaseñor, Community Volunteer Ambassador, Mission San Jose, National Park Service, “Deluge, Destruction, and Decision-Making: Cops-Metro”

Evelynn J. Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Sciences, St. Mary’s University, “Recent Developments in Westside Creek Management”

Session 5 –  10:30-11:45 a.m.  Recovering Community Stories and History: Multiple Methods; Multiple Perspectives

Rachel Delgado, lifelong Westside resident, WPA member, “Stories from the Grassroots”

Claudia Guerra, Cultural Historian, Office of Historical Preservation, City of San Antonio, “Conocimiento: Searching for Spirit of Place and People on San Antonio’s Westside”

Gilberto Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus, University of the Incarnate Word, “Westside Memories, Histories and other Sources”

Lunch Break: 11:45a.m.-1:00p.m. 

Session 6 – 1:00-2:15p.m. Mexican Americans at St. Mary’s University

Edgar Velázquez, Smithsonian Latino Museums Study Program Fellow and Library Assistant, San Antonio Public Library, “Radical Rattlers” (1960s)

Christopher Hohman, Public History graduate student, St. Mary’s University, “Embracing Chicano Identity” (1970s)

Gerald E. Poyo, Ph.D., O’Connor Chair, St. Mary’s University, “Contextualizing 1960s and 1970s at St. Mary’s”

Session 7 – 2:30-3:45p.m.  Westside Story:  Business & Entrepreneurship in Film

Amanda Hill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communications, St. Mary’s University, “Films and Public History”

Student films about Avenida Guadalupe businesses
V. Gwyn Hartung, St. Mary’s University alumna
Cristal Rose Mendez, St. Mary’s University alumna
Natiebe A. Nanda, St. Mary’s University student

Panel discussion with business owners
Richard C. Alvarado, RCA Paint & Body
Rudy Davila, Davila Pharmacy
Abobaker Mused, Alamo Farms

Session 8 – 4:00-5:15p.m. Westside Music Over the Generations

Justin (Rambo) Salinas, manager, Friend of Sound Records
Juan Tejeda, musician

Closing Reflections & Discussion – 5:30—6:00: Doing Public History on the Westside: What have we learned and what are the challenges?

Lindsey Wieck, Ph.D., Director, Graduate Public History Program, St. Mary’s University

Antonia Castañeda, Westside Preservation Alliance, and Professor Emerita, St. Mary’s University

Reception – 6:00-7:30p.m. at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

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