Monday, October 11, 2021

Alumnus Dr. Gonzalo Guzmán (MEd '10, PhD '18) contributed to an article highlighting a landmark school desegregation case in southern Colorado in the early twentieth century that was recently published by Rocky Mountain PBS. Dr. Guzmán's research into the efforts of the Maestas family to integrate the white-only Alamosa elementary school from 1912-1914 was largely lost to history. The case ― Francisco Maestas et al v. Superintendent George H. Shone and the Board of Education, which came at the tail end of a long string of attempts to bargain with the school district ― became what experts believe was the first Hispanic desegregation case in the United States in which Hispanics won. Now a team of historians, community members and descendants of the Maestas family are working to ensure more Coloradans know about this important chapter of the state's history through the formation of the Maestas Case Committee. Dr. Guzmán serves as a member of the committee and previously published research about the case in The Journal of Latinos in Education. He currently serves as a visiting assistant professor of educational studies at Colgate University.