Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD) Video Recordings

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Video recording of featured speaker Maya I. Arce's talk “Victory in Arizona.”


Maya Arce, a sophomore student at the University of Arizona majoring in computer science and a mariachi performer since the age of 7, was a plaintiff in Arce v. Huppenthal/Douglas case in the U.S. District Court (District of Arizona) and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States, which helped lead the successful constitutional challenge to Arizona’s anti-Mexican American Studies law.

While being denied the opportunity to take Mexican American Studies courses while in high school because of the state of Arizona’s elimination of the program, Maya nonetheless, in the tradition of strong Chicana educational advocates, chose to be a plaintiff in this precedent setting case. Being intimately involved in this case since 2010, Maya had remained steadfast in her convictions that studying Chicana/o history and culture is a basic human right, testifying in U.S. District Court in June 2017, “I believe in standing up for what I think is right, and I believe that I am a voice for those who otherwise may not be heard, for my ancestors, for my community members and for generations to come.”

Arizona’s anti-Mexican American Studies law was found to be unconstitutional in August of 2017 and in violation of Mexican Americans’ First Amendment and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by the Honorable Wallace A. Tashima, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who noted that the state of Arizona acted with “discriminatory racial animus.”

The U.S. District Court of Northern California recently cited Arce v. Huppenthal/Douglas to allow students to move forward in their equal protection challenge to the current administration’s attempts to end the federal DACA program.


  • Introduction / Moderator: Aurora Vilchis, Early Start & Coyote First STEP Coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Studies; Doctoral Candidate, Cohort 10, Educational Leadership Program, CSUSB
  • Speaker: Maya I. Arce, Sophmore - University of Arizona, Mariachi Performer, Plaintiff in Arce v. Huppenthal/Douglas