Chicano Youth Leadership Conference: Speaking Legacies of Leadership into the Future


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MA in Cultural Sustainability

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In this reflection paper, I use the method of oral history to explore leadership through the Chicano Youth leadership conference (CYLC) over fifty-years. For this final capstone project, I have interviewed Charlotte Lerchenmuller, president of the Sal Castro Foundation, and Paula Crisostomo, board member of the Sal Castro foundation, and former conference attendee and student activist. I selected Paula and Charlotte because they are elders who hold leadership roles in the conference, and both have been longtime volunteers. The purpose of this project is to ensure that the narratives of elders within the conference are heard, seen, and recognized as a vital contribution to the sustainability of the conference, and to continue to empower future generations of Chicano/a youth. Through the oral history recordings, future generations of Chicano/a and Latino/a people will have access to learn about the experiences of people like Charlotte and Paula who have made incredible contributions to the CYLC over time. In this paper, I will introduce a brief history of the conference and the 1968 student walkouts, my personal narrative as a volunteer with the conference and how it inspired me to conduct this capstone. Finally, I will introduce the method of oral history, my process for completing the interviews for this project, and an analysis and interpretation of the interviews.