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White (Don) Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical Information:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Don White Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Collection
    Creator: White, Don, 1937-2008
    Identifier/Call Number: URB.CISPES
    Extent: 14.46 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1980-2007
    Abstract: Don White was a board member and leader of the activist organization, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in Los Angeles, where he coordinated and participated in numerous rallies, demonstrations, fund-raisers, delegations, congressional visits and civil disobedience actions demanding an end to U.S. intervention in El Salvador and Central America. The collection consists mainly of CISPES administrative and program records from national, regional and local levels. Also included is information collected by White on El Salvador, Central America, and other activist and community organizations focused on Central American and Salvadoran issues.
    Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian, English

    Biographical Information:

    Don White was born and raised in Mount Vernon, Washington on April 18, 1937. He attended the College of the Pacific with a degree in Political Science, and attended post graduate classes at American University.
    White moved to Los Angeles in 1963, where he taught history at Irving Junior High School until his retirement in 1997. He was heavily involved in activism for educational and international causes, including the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers, and the Southern California Fair Trade Network. He became interested in Central American causes in 1976, when he traveled to Guatemala for a month to perform relief work in the wake of a devastating earthquake. This was the first of many trips to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, where he participated in fact-finding missions and delivering material aid where needed.
    White joined the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) shortly after its founding in 1980, leading the Echo Park Chapter and serving as an organizer and Board Member of the Los Angeles Subregion. In these roles White coordinated and participated in protests, rallies, and other civil disobedience actions in addition to raising money and material aid for those affected by the conflicts in Central America. He was heavily involved in the sanctuary movement to provide refuge to undocumented migrants from Central America, establishing fair trade with Central American countries, and supporting peace efforts for all countries.
    CISPES is a national grassroots solidarity organization, founded in 1980 by conventions in Los Angeles and Washington, DC to oppose U.S. government intervention and aid in the Salvadoran Civil War and to support the revolutionary forces of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). CISPES worked to achieve this goal through campaigns and protests aimed at raising public awareness in America of the civil war in El Salvador, pressuring Congress to end military aid, raising funds to send material aid to people in El Salvador, and promoting Salvadoran worker's rights. CISPES continues today in their mission, through promoting the economic rights of underdeveloped countries around the world.

    Scope and Contents

    The Don White Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Collection mainly consists of organizational records and other items related to Don White's work as an organizer, board member, and chapter leader for the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). Also included in the collection are materials collected by White that document other activist groups and movements related to El Salvador and Central America, as well as information about important historical and cultural issues in El Salvador. Materials in the collection are written in both English and Spanish. The collection is divided into four series: Administrative Records (1980-2006), Program and Event Files (1981-2007), Research Files (1980-2007), and Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) (1980-2006).
    Series I, Administrative Records, consists of materials that document the operation and administration of CISPES on a national, regional and local level. The series is arranged in two subseries: Los Angeles Subregion (1981-2006), and National, Regional, and Other Chapters (1980-2004). Subseries A, Los Angeles Subregion, contains the administrative records of the Los Angeles Chapter of CISPES, which also served as a subregion of the national organization. Items in the subseries include meeting minutes, correspondence, fundraising materials, financial documents, and essays written by Don White for the Los Angeles Chapter on various topical issues. Subseries B, National, Regional, and Other Chapters, consists of administrative records from the national office of CISPES, regional offices, and various local CISPES chapters. Items in the subseries include annual reports, bylaws and articles of incorporation for CISPES, information on the organization and structure of CISPES, correspondence, fundraising materials, staff training materials, various publications produced by CISPES, meeting minutes, press releases, media packets, informational mailings sent out to chapters, files from legal cases, security information, and items from national and regional CISPES committees. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically by topic.
    Series II, Program and Event Files, consists of items documenting local and national campaigns, conferences, protests, and other events and efforts produced or endorsed by CISPES. Files in this series include national and regional conference proceedings, protest planning materials, event fliers, petitions and lobbying materials for Congressional bills related to El Salvador, photographs, and planning information for large-scale organizational efforts such as delegations to El Salvador, speaking tours, documentaries, and national campaigns. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically by topic.
    Series III, Research Files, consists of items collected by Don White that relate to the history and politics of Central America as well as other activist and community organizations focused on Central American and Salvadoran issues. Items in the series include event fliers, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, activist organization newsletters, information on El Salvador and other countries, posters, press releases, ephemera, and audiovisual recordings. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically by topic.
    Series IV, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), consists of items produced by the FMLN, a coalition of five guerilla organizations supported by CISPES that fought as revolutionaries against the Salvadoran goverment and evolved into a legitimate political party in El Salvador. Items in the series include correspondence, bulletins and newsletters, press releases, brochures, interviews with commanders and other members, conference proceedings, information on FMLN radio stations, ephemera and photographs. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically by topic.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Administrative Records, 1980-2006
        Subseries A: Los Angeles Subregion, 1981-2006
        Subseries B: National, Regional, and Other Chapters, 1980-2004
    Series II: Program and Event Files, 1981-2007
    Series III: Research Files, 1980-2007
    Series IV: Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), 1980-2006

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Alexis Stoumbelis, 2010

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Audiovisual materials