Overview of the Collection
Arrangement of Materials:
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Don White Committee in Solidarity
with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Collection
White, Don, 1937-2008
14.46 linear feet
Language of Materials:
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.
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.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
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.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style
manual, or see the
Citing Archival Materials
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
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of mainly 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
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 government 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.