ChicanaDiasporic: A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled

Chicana Diasporic: An Introduction

Chicana Diasporic, A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled, is a media rich, annotated Scalar research hub that highlights a political/ideological journey of the women of the Chicana Caucus of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) from 1973 to 1979. Presented in a museum collection format, this interdisciplinary exploration of the Chicana Caucus includes speeches, correspondence, event posters, photographs, filmed interview clips, an introductory narrative and timeline that defines the Caucus’ history, structure and purpose, and their national impact on 1970s second wave feminism.

Materials provided for Chicana Diasporic are the result of an eight-year recovery project, the Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective and will be the first scholarly research hub created from materials housed in this digital repository.

In 1973 the Chicana Caucus is officially sanctioned as a special interest caucus at the NWPC conference in Houston, Texas and continues through the 1979 NWPC conference in Cincinnati, Ohio when the last Chicana Caucus chair is elected.  The ideological diaspora for Chicanas is required as a need to create a cultural and political space to work, forced upon them as a result of their expulsion from two ideological communities because of gender (Chicano movement) and race (White Feminist movement). The expulsion presents itself as blacklisting, underfunding, and exclusion from leadership, (certainly from spaces of power and agency) or, in some instances as access to membership with agency within organizations. This group of Chicana/Latina women create a space outside of both worlds, but like the combined space in a Venn diagram, it is understood and agreed upon as a forced existence between both worlds.

The diasporic, while actual is defined as ideological so that I do not disrespect or in any way offer a cultural appropriation of the idea of African or Black diaspora or more generally, any journey of a people from a native space to a foreign one that results in exile from the original space. I hope that by describing this journey as an ideological diaspora my audience will better understand the purpose for such a migration along with the power and necessity required of the activist life in exile experienced by these women.

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