Navarrette, Diego Jr.
The following interviews are with Diego Navarrette Jr. Part 1 of 6 was recorded on May 2nd, 2017 and covers the following themes:
Early days of the South Park neighborhood and Millville. Childhood experiences, local businesses, food, pilon, and Latin masses at church.
Mansfeld junior high and exposure to Anglos. Long distance walking. Tucson Unified’s tracking of Mexican American students. Negotiating middle school peer group.
Move to Broadmoor Addition in 1951 and cultural changes from South Park.
Sports as a social leveler between economic classes.
Race relations in Tucson, a tent city in the South Park neighborhood, and Chinese markets.
High school at Salpointe, graduating in 1955.
Education and social mobility across four generations of Diego’s family. The terms “secren” and “vendido” and navigating between Mexican and Anglo American social spaces.
College in New Mexico and the University of Arizona. Earned teaching credentials in 1961 and moved to Safford, Arizona to teach for 5 years.
Scholarship to study linguistics at UCLA and teach English as a second language.
Launching an ESL program at Pueblo concurrently with the development of the school’s bilingual program. Ideological and methodological differences between the two programs.
Diego’s attempt to teach English but not force assimilation.
Experience teaching in Safford, Arizona. Negotiating social place in a rural town.
Part 2 of 6 was recorded on May 18th, 2017 and covers the following themes:
Return from Safford back to Tucson and work at Pueblo High School teaching English as a Second Language.
ESL versus bilingual education during the 1960s. Problems with--and disappearance of--ESL.
Cultural components of Diego’s ESL curriculum.
Rise of the Chicano movement and effect on curriculum. California Chicano activism and arts spillover into Tucson.
Diego’s relationship with Chicano movement, Salomon Baldenegro, and Raul Grijalva.
Involvement with Teatro Libertad and launch of Borderlands Theater.
Spanish language skills and how they have thrived or vanished within Diego’s family. Chicano movement’s controversy within Diego’s family.
Generational transition from Chicano identity to Latino identity.
Chicano walkout at Pueblo during the early 1970s and its effect.
Part 3 of 6 was recorded on June 16th, 2017 and covers the following themes:
Starting at Pima Community College as a Curriculum Specialist in Language in 1969. Initial work in Communications Department and move to administration as Director of Student Activities.
Pima’s veterans program during early 1970s.
Political origins of Pima Community College. Construction of the West Campus. Initial airport hangar classrooms and graffiti wall.
Promotion to Dean of Student Activities by mid-1970s.
Financial origins of Pima and Tucson’s desire for a trade school. Goals of the College.
The cultural moment that Pima emerged from. National League of Innovation, willingness to fund education, education for returning Vietnam vets.
Pima’s strengths and weaknesses. Challenges of developing a transfer program with UA.
Pima’s founding educators, their ideological differences, and the development of a curriculum.
Part 4 of 6 was recorded on September 21st, 2017 and covers the following themes:
Pima Community College’s recruiting of faculty from across in America during the early 1970s.
The Multicultural Committee, hiring, salaries, affirmative action, and college political turmoil.
Pressure from the “Downtown 30,” Rotary Club, and Arizona Daily Star to change Pima’s hiring and salary practices.
The firing of Pima president Ken Harper and ensuring student anger.
Pima presidents after Harper and the school’s drift in a more conservative direction.
Diego’s resistance to creating a football program at Pima.
Evolving curriculum and failure of democratized decision-making process for the college.
Diego’s support of cultural weeks.
Part 5 of 6 was recorded on September 27th, 2017 and covers the following themes:
The Pima Community College board and presidents during the mid-late 1970s.
Presidency of James Manilla from 1979-88. Pima-UA ties and refinement of transfer programs. Formation of aviation mechanics program. Manilla's firing by board.
Choice of Diego as interim Pima president, board shuffling of other senior administrative positions, and descriptions of board members.
Affirmative action plan and blowback from faculty.
Board politics and their impact upon Pima’s administration, including Diego’s differences with the board.
Revelation that Diego had falsely claimed a Master’s degree on his resume and his resignation from Pima.
Changes in the Pima College Board after Diego’s departure.
Emotional aftermath and social repercussions of leaving Pima.
Enrollment at the University of Arizona in a Master’s in Education program.
Work in recruiting and outreach for the UA’s Minority Engineering Program.
Part 6 of 6 was recorded on December 1st, 2017 and covers the following themes:
Involvement with Tucson arts foundations in the 1960s and 1970s and work on the Tucson Civil Service Commission.
Creation of Tucson Council on the Arts.
Role in “Arizona’s Heritage Town Hall” in 1972 and connection to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Expansion Arts Panel.
Being a grants panelist at the NEA from 1974-8.
The popularity of cultural festivals during the 1970s.
Artistic activities in Tucson during the 1970s: theater groups, Womancraft, folklorico, and the mariachi festival.
Relationship between the Chicano movement and Tucson art scene, specifically Teatro Campecino and the “Roots and Visions” art show of 1977.
Race, ethnicity, class, and identity among Latinos. How these divisions manifested in art.
Latino art in large museums.
End of the long sixties and increasing conservatism in America.
Borderlands Theater board membership and the theater's challenges over several decades.