Harry Pachon, an acclaimed activist-scholar who focused on the political and educational aspects of the country's growing Latino community, died of lung failure on Nov. 4, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Pachon, the son of Colombian immigrants, helped advance the Latino cause with an academic perspective on a range of issues such as bilingual education, immigration, voting patterns and redistricting. Since 1993, Pachon was president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI), a Latino Think Tank, based at the University of Southern California. Pachon helped bring national attention to the plight of Latinos, dispelled common misconceptions about the community an highlighted their political diversity, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"The entire nation - and especially the 50 million Latinos in the United States - has lost a true giant in civil rights advocacy," Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, said in a statement last week, noting that Pachon's "academic and intellectual heft" helped advance the social and political standing of Latinos.
As a community mourns Pachon's death, we honor other pioneers who have helped advance the cause of all Latinos.
This list is an eclectic mix of people, ranging from politicians to musicians to human rights activists. Please help us make this a definitive list of the most impactful Latino civil rights activists, leaders and pioneers. Send us your suggestions of who else should be included. Gracias!