OLLU announced as home to institute on Mexican American civil rights history

San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg announced today that the National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights will be housed at Our Lady of the Lake University. 

Speaking during a news conference at Providence Hall, West Social Room, the mayor also announced that the City Council has allocated $250,000 to start the National Institute and will contribute another $250,000 next year.

OLLU president Diane E. Melby, EdD, City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and other local leaders said the university is the perfect site for the National Institute.

“Providing the home for this important and historic institute is a fitting next chapter for OLLU,” President Melby said. “The university was founded on the social justice mission of the Sisters of Divine Providence. We continue to carry out their heritage, and it remains a central purpose to the education we provide, the graduates we produce and the work that we accomplish.”   

The news conference featured remarks from a number of speakers, including National Institute Chair Paul Ruiz.

“The National Institute will teach, educate and showcase the significant struggles and contributions forged in our own Mexican American community to advance the civil rights and fair treatment of all people,” Ruiz said.

Other speakers included National Institute Interim Executive Director Ezequiel Peňa, an OLLU associate professor, San Antonio First Lady Erika Prosper and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez.