The schools that were part of the 1968 East L.A. Chicano student walkouts were named Tuesday to the 2018 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In March 1968, students from Wilson High School (now El Sereno Middle School), Garfield High School, Roosevelt High School, Lincoln High School and Belmont High School participated in a walkout to demand educational equality within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Some of the buildings are facing calls for demolition by the school district, according to the NTHP.
“The historic school buildings connected to the East L.A. Walkouts, many of which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, embody the inspirational legacy of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement and stand as reminders of the power of student-led activism in one of the most diverse regions in the nation,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As the school district has demonstrated in other neighborhoods, pitting an irreplaceable community history and identity against high-quality school facilities is a false choice. LAUSD students deserve both.”
The NTHP said that almost 300 places have been on its annual list over its 31-year history, and fewer than five percent of listed sites have been lost in that time.
“Our work isn’t just about preserving buildings — it’s about connecting with Angelenos of all backgrounds and working together to recognize our shared heritage,” said Linda Dishman, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Conservancy. “These campuses are deeply rooted in history, and are community anchors. They bring people together and provide a sense of stability, belonging, and hope. It’s our responsibility to honor Latinx history by preserving, rehabilitating, and reusing these important places.”
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