Adam Efren Lopez, a first year faculty fellow, is proud of his Chicano identity. However, his early schooling (elementary and high school) never covered the Latino culture; his family’s story was noticeably absent from the American narrative. It wasn’t until he arrived at Northern Illinois University that he had the opportunity to explore and understand the Chicano culture, ultimately leading him to a master’s in Modern American history.
So imagine how he felt when he heard that Arizona passed a law aimed at prohibiting a Mexican American studies program taught in the Tucson Unified School District and, in effect, banning more than 50 books, including such titles as 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martinez and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Adam was spurred to act. Instead of taking his usual spring break trip to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, he joined a caravan to deliver banned books.