Rodolfo F. Acuña
Rodolfo F. Acuña, Ph.d, is a historian, professor emeritus, and one of the leading scholars of Chicano Studies, which he teaches at Cal State Northridge. He is the author Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, now in its seventh printing.
While in University studying, an academic counselor advised Rudy to teach Education because, according to the counselor, Mexicans are not hired in the field of history. This xenophobic notion enraged Rudy and led him to pursue a doctorate that emphasized the history and Mexican origin of peoples in the United States and Mexico specializing in the history of the peoples of Northern Mexico. This emphasis and advanced study and his activism naturally led him to become a pioneer the study of Chicano Studies at a University level, giving a much neglected voice to Mexican Americans in education and history.
Rudy Acuña was founding Chair of the Chicano/a studies department at Cal State Northridge, beginning in 1969.
In 1989, Acuña was a founding member of the Labor/Community Strategy Center, a civil rights advocacy group. Two years later he traveled to El Salvador as a correspondent for the Texas Observer covering its presidential elections. He has also written for all the major newspapers in Los Angeles about the struggle of the Mexican American people.
Flash forward forty years; Lately, Rudy spends his time supporting the struggle in Tucson, Arizona, where a right wing assault on Chicano Studies and immigration reform has become a flashpoint of political controversy. He leads student trips to the border to inform his students of what is at stake in the Arizona face-off over civil rights and liberties.
As an activist and an historian, continues to be a leading voice in the Mexican American community both in Southern California, Mexico, and across the United States.