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.

Paul F. Ruiz, PhD

Board Chair

Principal Partner, Emeritus

The Education Trust, Inc

Marisa Bono, J.D.

Board Member

Chief Strategy Officer

VIA Metropolitan Transit

Ezequiel Peña, PhD

Board Secretary

Associate Professor

Our Lady of the Lake University

Gloria G. Rodriguez, PhD

Board Vice-Chair

Founder, Former President/CEO


Robert Garza, PhD

Board Member


Alamo Colleges District - Palo Alto College

Lilliana Patricia Saldaña, PhD

Board Member

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

University of Texas at San Antonio   

Adriana Abundis

Board Member

Public School Educator

Olga Garza Kauffman

Board Treasurer

Health Consultant

Velma Vela Ybarra

Board Member

Lifelong Educator & Education Advocate

Cecilia Elizondo Herrera

Erika Prosper

Board Member

National Advisory Council Chair

National Advisory Council Vice-Chair

Stephen Pitti, PhD

Board Member

Scholars Council Chair


Patronato is a centuries old tradition in the Americas that brought together a community’s leading citizens to support charitable, cultural and patriotic initiatives. The MACRI Patronato is being organized to provide long-term endowment funds to ensure sustainability for generations to come. If you are interested in being a founding member of the MACRI Patronato, submit your email below and a member of our team will contact you with more information. 


Thank you for your support!




  • 2021 Virtual Symposium
    Aug 13, 11:00 AM CDT – Aug 14, 3:00 PM CDT
    Online Event
  • Regional Histories of Mexican American School Segregation
    Aug 26, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT
    Facebook Live



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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 housed at Our Lady of the Lake University, in San Antonio, Texas, an incubator for many of our city’s Mexican American leaders and a committed partner in the ongoing struggle for civil rights. 

Mexican American Civil Rights Institute 
Our Lady of the Lake University
411 SW 24th St
San Antonio, TX 78207

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.