Rooted in and inspired by San Antonio’s legacy, the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) is the premier national organization dedicated to chronicling and advancing the Mexican American community’s civil rights efforts in the U.S.



The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute envisions communities where all Americans are inspired by the Mexican American civil rights legacy and see themselves as participants and transformational leaders in the ongoing struggle for social justice, inclusion and equity.


Civil rights are an expansive and significant set of rights designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment. For the Mexican American community, they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment and be free from discrimination including in the areas of education, employment, voting, housing, public accommodations, immigration, economic opportunity, as well as on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and more. We strongly believe that all individuals should be treated with dignity and respect and are part of our common humanity.

Hover over or click one of the historic images below to reveal MACRI's 5 Guiding Principles 

Images courtesy of UTSA Special Collections





Fundado en 2019, el Instituto de Derechos Civiles Mexicano Americanos (MACRI) es un instituto nacional ubicado en Our Lady of the Lake University, en San Antonio, Tejas. Enraizada en e inspirado por el legado de San Antonio, el MACRI es la principal organización nacional dedicada a la crónica y el avance de los esfuerzos de derechos civiles de la comunidad mexicana americana en los EE.UU. El MACRI visualiza comunidades donde todos los estadounidenses se inspiran en el legado de derechos civiles de los mexicanos americanos y se ven a sí mismos como participantes y líderes transformadores en la lucha continua por la justicia social, la inclusión y la equidad.


Nosotros compartiremos recursos, artículos, videos, programación y otra información importante para nuestra comunidad a través de nuestras cuentas de redes sociales. Así que sigue y conéctate con el MACRI en línea. También animamos a las personas, familias, empresas, fundaciones y otras organizaciones a hacer una contribución que ayude a asegurar el futuro financiero de este instituto.



Sarah Zenaida Gould, PhD

at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, both in San Antonio. She serves on the boards of the Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, on the council of the American Association of State and Local History, and is an Advisor for the National Trust of Historic Preservation. She received a BA in American Studies from Smith College and an MA and PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. 


She | Her | Hers


Dr. Gould is a longtime public historian and museum worker. She was formerly founding director of the Museo del Westside, a community participatory museum, and lead curatorial researcher 

MACRI Administrator

Barbara Aguirre





MACRI is fortunate to have a group of talented and nationally recognized civic leaders and scholars with expertise in the areas of higher education, bilingual education, K-12 and higher education administration, early childhood development, fund development and civil rights history. With a combined professional experience of more than 200 years, the Board also includes members with experience in research and evaluation, organizational design and implementation, marketing, health, and museum curating.  Board members also have experience in managing large systems and institutions as well as establishing new organizations, and have led and served on local, state and national boards that advocate for equal rights in the areas of historical preservation, good government, immigration, civil right, voting rights and equal educational opportunity.

Robert Garza, PhD

Board Chair


Alamo Colleges District - Palo Alto College

Olga Garza Kauffman

Board Treasurer

Health Consultant

Stephen Pitti, PhD

Lilliana Patricia Saldaña, PhD

Board Member

Scholars Council Chair

Professor of History and of American Studies; Director, Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration

Yale University

Board Member

Associate Professor and Program Director Mexican American Studies Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department

University of Texas at San Antonio   

Cecilia Elizondo Herrera

Board Vice-Chair

National Advisory Council Chair

Adriana Abundis

Board Member

Public School Educator

Gloria G. Rodriguez, PhD

Board Member

Founder, Former President/CEO


Velma Vela Ybarra

Board Member

Lifelong Educator & Education Advocate

Ezequiel Peña, PhD

Board Secretary

Associate Professor

Our Lady of the Lake University

Marisa Bono, J.D.

Board Member

Chief Executive Officer

Every Texan

Paul F. Ruiz, PhD

Board Member

Principal Partner, Emeritus

The Education Trust, Inc


Cecilia Elizondo Herrera

National Advisory Council Chair

Nora Dempsey

National Advisory Council Member

Erika Prosper

National Advisory Council Vice-Chair

Victor Miramontes

National Advisory Council Member

Eduardo Berain

National Advisory Council Member

Gilberto S. Ocañas

National Advisory Council Member


Stephen Pitti, PhD

Scholars Council Chair


Yale University

Gilberto Cardenas, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Professor Emeritus
University of Notre Dame

Mark Ocegueda, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Mellon Gateway Postdoctoral Fellow

Brown University

George Sanchez, PhD

Scholars Council Member

University of Southern California 

Mike Amezcua, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Assistant Professor

Georgetown University

Maria Cotera, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Associate Professor
University of Texas at Austin

Monica Perales, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Associate Professor
University of Houston

Kathryn Blackmer Reyes

Scholars Council Member


San Jose State University

Tey Mariana Nunn, PhD

Scholars Council Member


American Women's History Initiative

Smithsonian Institution

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Associate Professor
University of Texas at Austin

Carolina Villarroel, PhD

Scholars Council Member

Director of Research
Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project

University of Houston



The Patronato is a centuries-old tradition in the Americas that brings together a community’s leading citizens to support charitable, cultural, and patriotic initiatives. The MACRI Patronato invites individuals and families to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organization with a contribution of $1,000. To become a founding member of the MACRI Patronato, click here.


If you would like more information about the MACRI Patronato, submit your email below and a member of our team will contact you with more information.


Thank you for your support!






Sign up for the MACRI Newsletter to receive information on our programming, resources, news, and efforts to chronicle and advance the Mexican American community’s civil rights efforts in the U. S.


Thank you for subscribing!



MACRI shares resources, articles, videos, programming, and other important information for our community through our social media accounts.  Please be sure to follow and connect with MACRI online.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube




For more information, contact us via email at info@somosmacri.org


Founded in 2019, the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI), formerly the National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights, is a national institute located in San Antonio, Texas, a cradle for Mexican American civil rights leadership and organizations. 

Mexican American Civil Rights Institute 
PO Box 12085

San Antonio, TX 78212


Copyright © 2020

Mexican American Civil Rights Institute

All rights reserved.


MACRI is building its collections of Mexican American civil rights artifacts to better serve the public and educational community. Click below to find out how to submit an artifact for consideration.

MACRI offers many ways to support this first-of-its-kind national institute. We encourage individuals, families, businesses, foundations, and other organizations to make a contribution that will help ensure MACRI's financial future.