Thursday, September 23, 2010

Passing of a Great Activist

I want to note the passing of Roberto Maestas, a civil rights leader in Seattle. He helped found El Centro de La Raza which serves the Mexican-American community. He was 72.

He was a former SPS teacher at Franklin High School. He was part of a loose gang of 4 called the Four Amigos with King County Councilman Larry Gossett, the late Native American leader Bernie Whitebear and Bob Santos, a voice in the Asian-American community.

Mr. Gossett said of him:

"No one has been more on the front lines of every significant movement for social change in the Northwest than Roberto."

It's funny because I knew who he was, our paths crossed numerous times at many meetings and yet somehow we never met. But his presence loomed large at any meeting and he was a great speaker.

"In lieu of flowers, Mr. Maestas' family asks that contributions be made in his name to El Centro de la Raza, with the funds to be used to establish a college fund for Latino students."

3 comments:

Scott R said...

Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. Maestas was a local hero.

El Centro serves many more than just Mexican Americans. Latinos of all American persuasions.

Rosie said...

He was a gifted builder of connections with other people who always held tight to his ideals. El Centro is an amazing legacy to leave behind.

anne said...

My son went to preschool at El Centro (we are not Latino) and it is a wonderful place.