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Supreme Council of the Mexican American Movement Collection

While we are working, attending class, and doing so many other things from home, our blog posts will focus on materials that have been digitized and can be accessed remotely. We’ll continue to include links to our finding aids and other information about physical access, as well.

The Supreme Council of the Mexican American Movement (1945-1950) can trace its roots to the Mexican Youth Conference (MYC) sponsored by the Youth Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the early to mid-1930s. Initially, the conference provided a platform for young Mexican American boys to socialize outside the barrios of Los Angeles. The group extolled the virtues of education, especially higher education, as a means to uplift Mexican Americans and Mexican people living in the United States.

noche artistica flyerBeginning in 1938, several members of the MYC began publishing The Mexican Voice to actively advocate for self-improvement, most notably through education. Two years later the Youth Conference sponsored the first Women's Youth Conference, and then in 1942 incorporated as the Mexican American Movement (MAM). SCMAM legally incorporated as a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-sectarian organization in Los Angeles as a MAM youth council. Members included professionals, students, and civic-minded members of the community of both Mexican and Anglo backgrounds. Their ideals were an extension of those articulated by Mexican Youth Conference President Paul Coronel in 1940.

SCMAM legally incorporated as a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-sectarian organization in Los Angeles in 1945. Members included professionals, students, and civic-minded members of the community of both Mexican and Anglo backgrounds. Their ideals were an extension of those articulated by Mexican Youth Conference President Paul Coronel in 1940. 

The SCMAM Articles of Incorporation also find their antecedents in MYC. In 1941, Mexican Youth Council president Gualberto Valdez published a ten-point platform in The Mexican Voice, extolling education, pride in their Mexican heritage, and the promotion of understanding between Mexican Americans and others.

Their stated goals were to improve social, educational, economic, and spiritual conditions among Mexican Americans and Mexican people living in the United States through fostering education as the means to improve one's quality of life. To meet this standard, the council endeavored to encourage further education, to provide financial aid to college students, to promote good citizenship and good relations with non-Mexicans, and to organize local councils to create a national movement.

Special Collections & Archives houses a small collection of materials from the Supreme Council of the Mexican American Movement that includes membership lists, meeting minutes, correspondence, and the organization’s constitution and by-laws. Materials from the Supreme Council of the Mexican American Movement Collection are available for viewing online as one of several collections featured in the Latina(o) Cultural Heritage Archives database. The Latina(o) Culture Heritage Archives include photographs and documents assembled from twelve collections that capture the history of Latino and Chicana/o people and culture in Southern California.

Members of the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement, May 1949.
Mexican Voice, illustration created by R.E. Garcia for the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement.
Emblem of the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement.
1947 Annual Convention pamphlet, side 1, November 23, 1947.
Handbook of the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement, ca. 1945.
Articles of Incorporation for the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement (page 1),  December 19, 1945.

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