Alicia Dickerson Montemayor was an American civil rights activist from Laredo, Texas, the first woman elected to a national office not specifically designated for women. She was also the first woman to serve as associate editor of the LULAC newspaper and the first to write a charter to fund a LULAC youth group. Montemayor urged the inclusion of girls and women into Latin American activism and also promoted the interests of middle-class Mexican Americans.
In 1936, Montemayor helped to charter the women’s division of Laredo LULAC. The council encouraged women to vote and to have aspirations to work outside the home. They supported abused children, raised funds for the Laredo orphanage and flood victims, bought school supplies for poor children, and sponsored a column in Laredo’s newspaper and in the published edition of LULAC news.
A prolific writer, Montemayor wrote more articles for LULAC than any other woman in its history. In her writing she stressed the importance of independent thinking for adults and youth. Her first essay was “We Need More Ladies Councils,” where she called women to action to help reinvigorate inactive councils. She made public calls for women to join LULAC to empower themselves and help close the gender gap. She believed that women had common sense and:
were able to see at a glance and penetrate into, in a second, what most men would not see with a searchlight or a telescope in an eternity.
We salute you, Alicia Dickerson Montemayor, on #WomensHistoryMonth.
To learn more about Alicia Dickerson Montemayor, visit our friends at Intercultural Development Research Association.
Marlena Fitzpatrick is the CEO for Latino Rebels. You can follow here @MarlenaFitz.
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