November 8, 2012
This is indeed a special group. I first met the youth involved in this group when they attended a hearing at the City Council Meeting of the City of Avondale to advocate for the preservation of the historic Goodyear Farms Cemetery. They were present to demonstrate their support and commitment to sustaining the preservation of the Cemetery, where early ancestors of the region, largely of Mexican American descent, are buried. As a group they have participated and led the charge to organize the clean-up days at the Cemetery and the fundraising for both the Cemetery and their dance group. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at the 2nd Annual Fundraiser and they were spectacular. The leadership of this group, the board members, and the parents are equally committed to the group's success. As a faculty member from Arizona State University, my research focuses on the history of the labor camps that were first established by the Southwest Cotton Company, when Goodyear Tire & Rubber entered Arizona to grow cotton for the mass production of tires. As I wrap up my book this coming spring I can say with certainty that the activities of this group are very much going to be included in my discussion of the legacies of this community and the vitality and hope that is exquisitely represented by the youth, their leaders, and community people involved in their success.
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MY ROLE:General Member of the Public