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Olga Talamante: Woman of Steel

Culture & Community By Richard R.2553 views
Olga Talamante: Woman of Steel

The haydays of political activism during the 1960's, one of the few significant womens that emerged onto the scene was a latina.

Her name is Olga Talamante, and this is her story:

She was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico,  At the age of eleven, she and her family moved to Gilroy, an agricultural community.

She learned English and excelled in her studies, being elected president of her sophomore class and vice president of her senior class at Gilroy High School. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen, and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a degree in Latin American studies.

She became an activist during the anti-Vietnam War peace movement and the Chicano Movement.  Talamante is also well known for her community activism and has worked with several service-providing and public advocacy agencies, including Head Start, the YMCA, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Argentine Commission for Human Rights.

Talamante was arrested for political activity in November 1974, and subsequently imprisoned and tortured from 1974-1976 until her release.

Talk about a survivor, Olga’s story reminds us that the struggle for human rights and human dignity continues.

Olga Talamante is central to the history of Chicana/o self-determination as it developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although her story has been told numerous times in Euroamerican progressive circles, it has largely remained outside the scope of Chicana/o Studies.

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The Olga Talamante Defense Committee petitioned Congress and the State Department for her release. By the time she was freed on March 27, 1976, Talamante had become nationally known. She returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she began working for the Argentine Commission for Human Rights.

After being released, Talamante continued working with other minority causes in the United States. She was Western branch Vice President of INROADS, an association aimed at helping Hispanic, African American and Native American business and engineering students to gain college scholarships.

Currently she serves on the boards of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; El Concilio of San Mateo County, and the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women. She is also active with GELAAM, a Latino LGBT organization in San Mateo County and with the Latino Forum of the San Francisco LGBT Center.

Talamante also became first executive director of the Chicana/Latina Foundation in January 2003.  

The Chicana/Latina Foundation was founed in 1977 and is a non-profit organization which promotes professional and leadership development of Latinas. The Foundation's mission is to empower Chicanas/Latinas through personal, educational, and professional advancement.

Coincidentally; the Foundation is also celebrating it's 40th Anniversary this coming September 28, 2017.

And everyone is invited!

 And last, but not the least, she has launched a new campaign called #resist&rebuild.  

Video below of Olga Talamante Key Note Speaker empowering Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley with #R&R #Resist&Rebuild #Resistwithlove&Rebuildwithstrength // She receives a well deserved #standingovation and the sisterhood award!

 

 

Olga Talamante empowered the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley with #R&R #Resist&Rebuild #Resistwithlove&Rebuildwithstrength // Well deserved #standingovation Who is Olga: In November 1974, Talamante was arrested for political activity, and subsequently imprisoned and tortured. The Olga Talamante Defense Committee petitioned Congress and the State Department for her release. By the time she was freed on March 27, 1976, Talamante had become nationally known. She returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she began working for the Argentine Commission for Human Rights. After being released, Talamante continued working with other minority causes in the United States. She was Western branch Vice President of INROADS, an association aimed at helping Hispanic, African American and Native American business and engineering students to gain college scholarships.

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