Carolyn Torres interviewed by Anallia Cabral, November 21, 2015, Santa Ana, California, Oral History # 5767, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Carolyn Torres, a community activist organizing against police brutality. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for the California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to collect information on Torres’ experiences in community activism and organizing. Specifically, this interview details Torres’ family life and childhood growing up in Santa Ana and Moreno Valley, California; the relationship with her extended family; importance of education during childhood and young adult years; details family history and cultural identity as a Chicana; involvement in MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán] during her college years; difficulties she faced during childhood and with family dynamics; importance of mental health and therapy; role models, mentors, and early opportunities with GATE [Gifted and Talented Education]; reflects on the mixed gender role messages she received; thoughts on feminism, activism, and community organizing; opinions on women in activism and feminism; candid experiences within predominately white spaces; underlying discrimination and racism she faced; her introduction to police brutality in Anaheim, and the disunity amongst Latina/os; continuous feelings of being “othered” in her community because she is college educated; discusses being an educator in Watts while living in Long Beach and doing activism in Orange County; talks about her dislike for non-profits with regard to her activism and organizing; involvement with community organization Chicanos Unidos; describes challenges of being an organizer; what motivates her to keep going; discusses the Anaheim uprising of 2012, in reaction to local officer-involved shootings; explains the Townsend gang injunction in Santa Ana; how she is most proud of her research and thesis work; closes the interview with her thoughts on the importance of women in activism, and how she believes she has helped change her community.
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