Pitzer College Forum Explores Claremont's Latino Roots

CLAREMONT, Calif. (March 23, 2005) – Is there a Latino Claremont? This is the question Pitzer College's community forum will try to answer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the Broad Performance Space in the College's Edythe and Eli Broad Center.

Claremont used to be an agricultural area as well as a college town. Some Mexican and Latino residents in Claremont remember "El Barrio" (the west neighborhood), "Arbol Verde" (the east barrio), "La Empacadora" (the citrus packing plant), the Padua Hills Theater and the small store "El Chisme" (the Gossip) as places where Latinos lived, worked and hung out.

However, the history of Latinos in most California cities has not been recorded and, in many cases, has been lost. This forum attempts to honor the presence, spaces and contributions of Mexicanos/as, Chicanos/as and other Latinos/as in Claremont as a vital and appreciated part of the history of the city.

Speakers at the event will include Matt García, associate professor of American civilization and ethnic studies at Brown University and author of A World of Its Own; community residents Carmen Armendarez, John Domínguez, Crispín González and Mary Palos; and Ginger Elliott of Claremont Heritage.

Matt García also will speak at noon March 29 in Broad Hall 110 on the Pitzer College campus. García's presentation, "Tierra de Nadie: Race, Space, and Housing in Arbol Verde, Claremont, California," will explore the changing identity of "Arbol Verde" (the east barrio) and the relationship of the Claremont Colleges to the historically Mexican colonia.

"I will conclude with my reflections on possible futures for a place several members of my family have called home for over 80 years," García said.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Teresa Vázquez, visiting professor of Chicano Studies and sociology, at teresa_vazquez@pitzer.edu.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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