Certain movements have created lasting impressions in the American imagination. Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the fight to end segregated schooling evokes images of young people like Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine tearing down racial barriers. These important events and other struggles against school segregation are memorialized in textbooks and taught in public schools and colleges. There were other group struggles, however, that have not been woven into in the American imagination. Mexican Americans have a long-standing but lesser-known history in the struggle against school segregation. Their experiences were complex. Donato will explain how there were no state statutes that sanctioned the school segregation of Mexican Americans in America. Yet, it became common practice. Mexican American communities have been challenging school segregation for more than 100 years.
Rubén Donato is the Bob & Judy Charles Endowed Chair and a professor of Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice in the School of Education.
Professor Donato earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a master’s degree in history from Stanford University, and a doctorate in Education (history of American Education) from Stanford University.
Donato is an American educational historian and specializes in the history of Mexican American education in the United States.
Professor Donato is a prolific writer of peer-reviewed articles and has published in highly respected journals in his field. He is author of The Other Struggle for Equal Schools: Mexican Americans during the Civil Rights Era (SUNY, 1997); Mexicans and Hispanos in Colorado Schools and Communities, 1920-1960 (SUNY, 2007); and (with Jarrod Hanson) The Other American Dilemma: Schools, Mexicans, and the Nature of Jim Crow, 1912-1953 (SUNY, 2021).
Professor Donato was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2020.