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Virtual Groundbreaking For Park Commemorating Major Civil Rights Moment In Southern California

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An East L.A. artist will create the bronze statues for a new park that will celebrate the landmark case that led to the desegregation of California schools and ended the practice of what was known as "Mexican schools."

A virtual groundbreaking today showcased what the park in Westminster will look like and served as a history lesson.

A rendering of Mendez Tribute Park in Westminster. (Courtesy of City of Westminster)
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In 1943, the children of Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez were denied enrollment at the all-white 17th Street School in Westminster. They and other families sued county school districts, and in 1947, they won the case: Mendez v. Westminster.

East Los Angeles-born artist Ignacio Gomez was commissioned to create bronze statues for the park — they will be of Mr. and Ms. Mendez and two children carrying books:

"It means a great deal, I'm deeply honored. I was fortunate that when I was growing up, I grew up in a mixed neighborhood so I never basically experienced any of that, somewhat a little bit, but not what they experienced."

Mendez Tribute Monument Park and an adjacent trail are expected to open next Spring.


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