Martha Cotera (Crystal City, Texas) 1975

Martha Cotera is a renowned Chicana feminist, civil rights leader, historian and former archivist at the UT Benson Latin American Collection. She was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and at a young age immigrated to El Paso, Texas. She began her career as a librarian, then in 1964, with other educators she founded TEAMS (Texans for Educational Advancement for Mexican Americans) that supported Mexican American students’ protests. In 1974, Cotera ran for the 23rd Congressional District under La Raza Unida Party ticket. Cotera was one of the founders of La Raza Unida Party, Mujeres por La Raza, National Women’s Political Caucus and Texas Women’s Political Caucus, the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association, and several other civic organizations. Upon her and her family’s return to Austin, Texas, from Crystal City, Texas, she worked at the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas. She worked for over 25 years to expand this collection and locate and develop more archives of people in Mexican American politics. She published a pathbreaking book on Chicana feminism titled Diosa Y Hembra and the Chicana Feminist.


Feminist Martha Cotera fights to represent Chicanas in academia

-Written by Rachel Tabor