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National Council of La Raza Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: National Council of La Raza records
    Creator: National Council of La Raza
    Identifier/Call Number: M0744
    Identifier/Call Number: 3783
    Physical Description: circa 1101 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1968-2006
    Abstract: The collection contains board minutes, correspondence files, administrative files, internal memoranda, policy statements, contracts, project reports, evaluation files, videotapes, and audiotapes documenting the first 18 years of the history of the National Council of La Raza and its various components

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research; material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Personnel files are restricted until 2066. Contract files indicating contractor income are also restricted until 2066. Videotape materials require at least a two-week waiting period between they are requested and when they can be made available, to allow for use copies to be made from the master tapes. Accession 2005-068, 53 cartons, is unavailable until processing is complete.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    National Council of La Raza records (M0744), Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of NCLR, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2005, and 2017. Accessions 1994-159, 1995-201, 1995-237, 1997-103, 2005-068, 2017-084.

    Biography / Administrative History

    The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) was founded in February 1968 under the name of the Southwest Council of La Raza as a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization established to reduce poverty and discrimination, and improve life opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Its Central Office was originally located in Phoenix, Arizona and in 1970 it opened its National Services Office in Washington, D.C. Its early efforts were focused primarily in the Southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. In 1973, the organization changed its name to the National Council of La Raza and moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C. to reflect its increasingly national focus. Henry Santiestevan served as the President and Executive Director of the Council from its inception through 1974, when Raul Yzaguirre, the current President and CEO of NCLR, came into office. NCLR focuses its efforts on two primary, complementary approaches: Capacity-building assistance to support and strengthen Hispanic community-based organizations: providing organizational assistance in management, governance, program operations, and resource development to Hispanic community-based organizations in urban and rural areas nationwide, especially those which serve low-income and disadvantaged Hispanics. Applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy: providing an Hispanic perspective on issues such as education, immigration, housing, health, employment and training, and civil rights enforcement, to increase policy-maker and public understanding of Hispanic needs, and to encourage the adoption of programs and policies which equitably serve Hispanics. NCLR also focuses its efforts on public information and media activities and special and international projects. These include innovative programs, catalytic efforts, formation of and participation in coalitions, and other special activities which use the NCLR structure and credibility to create other entities or projects. NCLR is the largest constituency-based national Hispanic organization, serving all Hispanic nationality groups in all regions of the country. NCLR has over 200 formal affiliates who together serve 37 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia - and a broader network of more than 20,000 groups and individuals nationwide - reaching more than two million Hispanics annually. Capacity-building assistance to support and strengthen local Hispanic groups - provided from NCLR's Washington, D.C., headquarters and its field offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and San Antonio - focuses on resource development, program operations, management, and governance. NCLR provides services not only to its own affiliates, but also to other local Hispanic organizations; unlike organizations which serve only their own 'chapters,' NCLR welcomes affiliation from independent Hispanic groups which share NCLR's goals and self-help philosophy. NCLR also assists Hispanic groups which are not formal affiliates through issue networks dealing with HIV/AIDS, for example, community health, the elderly, education, and leadership. NCLR's Policy Analysis Center is the pre-eminent Hispanic "think tank," serving as a voice for Hispanic Americans in Washington, D.C.; the Albuquerque Tribune has called NCLR "the leading Hispanic think tank in the country," and the Baltimore Sun routinely refers to NCLR as "the principal" Latino advocacy group. Its unique capacity to provide timely policy analyses, combined with its considerable advocacy expertise, a reputation for political independence, and an identifiable constituency, permits NCLR to play an important role in policy and advocacy efforts. Its policy-related documents command extensive press and policy-maker attention, and NCLR is consistently asked to testify and comment on public policy issues such as immigration and education, as well as other issues of broad concern, from free trade to affordable housing, health policy, and tax reform. NCLR works closely with the private sector and has a broad base of financial support. NCLR maintains a diverse revenue base; the organization receives two-thirds of its funding from corporations and foundations, and the rest from the government. Its Corporate Board of Advisors, which includes senior executives from 25 major corporations and their liaison staff, provides ongoing consultation and assistance on a variety of efforts, from education and community health projects to visibility and fund raising. NCLR believes in cooperation and collaboration. NCLR staff belong to many issue-focused coalitions and associations, cooperating with other nonprofit organizations and private-sector entities on issues ranging from welfare reform to energy. All of NCLR's national-emphasis projects, which sometimes include pass-through funding - health, housing and community development, employment and training, education, the elderly, volunteerism, and leadership - include efforts to educate mainstream organizations, public and private, about Hispanic needs, and help them develop partnerships with Hispanic community-based organizations. NCLR also carries out joint projects with other organizations; NCLR is a partner, for example, with the National Urban League Project PRISM (Partners for Reform in Science and Mathematics), a national education reform project funded by the Annenberg/CPB Project. Some of NCLR's major reports have included: Burden or Relief? The Impact of Taxes on Hispanic Working Families; the third in a series of statistical analyses on the status of Hispanic education, Hispanic Education: A Statistical Portrait 1990; a comprehensive analysis of the Immigration Reform and Control Act's objective-related performance, Unfinished Business: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; an analysis of the performance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in serving Hispanics, The Empty Promise: EEOC and Hispanics; a statistical "snapshot" of the status of the Hispanic population, State of Hispanic America: 1991; an analysis of Hispanic participation in elderly-related federal programs, On the Sidelines: Hispanic Elderly and the Continuum of Care; a major analysis on Hispanic health status, Hispanic Health Status: A Disturbing Diagnosis; a report providing an empirical basis for comparing the magnitude of the effects of alternative anti-poverty strategies on Hispanics, An Emerging Latino Anti-Poverty Agenda; and a report documenting the negative portrayal of Hispanics in the media and entertainment industry, and its effects on Hispanic and non-Hispanic public opinion, Out of the Picture: Hispanics in the Media. NCLR publishes a quarterly newsletter, Agenda, as well as other issue-specific newsletters on education, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and the elderly. NCLR's extensive series of policy reports and training modules are briefly described in its Publications Guide.


    Missing Title

    early 1960's Herman Gallegos and Paul Ylvisaker, of the Ford Foundation, meet
    1966 Ford Foundation appoints Herman Gallegos, Ernesto Galarza, and Julian Samora as consultants to explore means by which the Ford Foundation could assist Mexican American community groups.
    1967 President Johnson creates Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican American Affairs.
    1967 Oct pre-White House conference held in Los Angeles.
    1967 Oct 26-28 Cabinet level hearings on Mexican American affairs, conducted in El Paso, Texas. La Raza Unida conference held in protest of the official hearings; The name for the Southwest Council of La Raza grew out of this conference.
    Fall 1967 - Spring 1968 The Organizing Committee of the Southwest Council of La Raza proceeded with the technical details of organizing the new organization.
    1968 Feb Southwest Council of La Raza is organized by Herman Gallegos, Ernesto Galarza, and Julian Somora and officially incorporated in Phoenix, Arizona with a satellite office in San Francisco. Herman Gallegos serves as the first Executive Director during the planning and organization phase. Maclovio Barraza was named as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
    1968 Jun NCLR receives its first Ford Foundation grant for $630,000 for one year "for the funding of a regional council of Mexican-Americans and for support of local action groups."
    1968 During its first year, the Council focused on organizing local Mexican American communities so that they could effectively wield political clout to effect necessary improvements in their condition.
    1969 Jul Ford Foundation recommended that SWCLR change its focus from political organizing to community economic development. The Board of Directors of SWCLR agreed to make economic development, housing, and education the primary priorities, but reiterated their commitment to community organization. Herman Gallegos resigns as Executive Director and Bert Corona leaves the Board of Directors in protest. Henry Santiestevan becomes the second Executive Director.
    1969 Ford responded by awarding the Council and its affiliates with a $1,353,700 grant for two years.
    1969 Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1969 specifically to quash funding of political action groups and voter registration drives campaigns by Foundations. Ford Foundation responded by insisting that SWCLR cease using Ford Funds for voter education or registration drives.
    1970 The Council opens a Washington, D.C. office
    1971 La Raza Investment Corporation (LRIC), a Minority Small Business Investment Corporation (MESBIC), founded as a means of supplying venture capital to small businesses.
    1973 Jan 12 Southwest Council of La Raza changes its name to National Council of La Raza. NCLR moves its headquarters to Washington, D.C.
    1974 The by-laws amended to allow Executive Director's Advisory Board, comprised of affiliate members, to appoint one of the Board members.
    1974 The Board of Directors voted to censure Henry Santiestevan and his staff for approving consultant contracts which could have jeopardized the future of the Council.
    1974 Mar Santiestevan resigned.
    1974 Jun 8 Raul Yzaguirre appointed the new National Director of NCLR. Yzaguirre replaces all but one of the professional employees with hand-picked individuals from his research consultant firm, Interstae Research Associates.
    1974 Yzaguirre directed that the organization change its focus from "proactive and aggressive program implementation" to raising funds, which resulted in the fund-raising efforts driving the programmatic direction of the Council.
    1974 NCLR along with the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC) of San Antonio helped organize the Assocation of Western Spanish Speaking Community Development Organizations.
    1976 Maclovio Barranza steps down as Chairman of the Board; Juan Patlán is named as his successor.
    1976 Jimmy Carter is elected President of the United States.
    1976 Federal support for NCLR surpasses Ford Foundation funding for the first time.
    1976 Raul Yzaguirre appointed an Affiliate Services Director in 1976 to coordinate affiliate programs. The National Council states as a goal the creation of 100 affiliate relationships within the next year.
    1977 Federal funding comprises major source of the Council's revenue.
    1977 The National Coucil established a new legislative research and advocacy program.
    1977 The number of affiliate organizations reached 55.
    1978 NCLR hosts its first affiliate convention in Washington, D.C.
    1978 NCLR reorganized from a typical community-based organization structure headed by an Executive Director, Associate Director, and Component Directors to a corporate structure headed by a President who is a voting member of the Board and serves as Chief Executive Officer, assisted by vice presidents.
    1979 NCLR expands its technical assistance, public policy analysis, and national advocacy efforts.
    1979 NCLR hosted its second affiliate convention in Washington, D.C.
    1980 Third affiliate convention held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    1980 Ronald Reagan elected President of the United States. The National Council met with President Reagan, Vice-President George Bush, White House Chief of Staff James Baker, and other top administration officials.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains board minutes, correspondence files, administrative files, internal memoranda, policy statements, contracts, project reports, evaluation files, videotapes, and audiotapes documenting the first 18 years of the history of the National Council of La Raza and its various components.


    The collection is arranged into 17 record groups: RG 1. Board of Directors; RG 2. Office of the President; RG 3. Office of Administration; RG 4. Office of Finance; RG 5. Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation (ORAL); RG 6. Office of Public Information (OPI); RG 7. Office of Technical Assistance and Constituency Support (TACS); RG 8. Office of Special and International Projects (OSIP); RG 9. Office of Institutional Development (OID); RG 10. Office of Development and Special Events (DASE); RG 11. Corporate Advisory Council (CAC); RG 12. Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACER); RG 13. La Raza Production Center (LRPC); RG 14. National Quincentennial Historical Commission; RG 15. Southwest Council of La Raza; RG 16. Program Offices; RG 17. Addendum: 2017-084, containing materials on topics that appear throughout all record groups.
    Each of these record groups is sub-divided into series and sub-series. In some of the record groups, the series are grouped together into sub-groups within the record group.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Human rights advocacy
    Hispanic Americans
    Mexican Americans
    National Council of La Raza