San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) recently celebrated the legacy of Marta Macias Brown, a graduate of the college and an advocate for civil rights and social justice.
The event, which took place on March 16, was aimed at benefiting student scholarships, and it brought together several prominent speakers, including Marta’s sister Gloria Macias Harrison, Congressman Mark Takano, Robert Armenta, Marta’s son Miguel McQueen, and Hans Johnson. All of them shared their reflections on Marta’s life and the positive impact she left on the community.
Marta was one of the founders of UMAS (United Mexican American Students), the precursor to MEChA while studying at Cal State San Bernardino.
She worked with the United Farmer Workers to bring Cesar Chavez to the area and was also one of the founders and early editors of El Chicano Newspaper.
She worked in the office of Congressman George E. Brown, whom she later married, and shared his work. She was a mother, sister, and friend.
Takano, who was the first person to call for Marta’s endorsement in 2012, said, “I have to say she was a fixture in Congressman George’s office.”
Armenta, who worked with Marta at Casa Ramona Baird, said, “She was a trustworthy confidant for political chisme. It truly was during these years that I learned the importance of community service.”
McQueen, Marta’s son, spoke on behalf of the family, thanking everyone for coming to honor his mother. He said, “We all knew my mom, and she was somewhat of the glue to my family. She was always quiet and unassuming. I have a lot of pride in the person that she was. I tell my kids that they come from a family rooted in public service, and I’m proud of that legacy.”
Macias Harrison talked about Marta’s love for education and her determination to make a difference. She said, “We loved education and enjoyed learning because it was very different from our home life. Our father was a tough guy, but he made sure that we always had books and read the newspaper as kids, which strengthened our love of learning. Marta greatly believed in scholarships and felt that scholarships are what allowed her to finish college and make the life that she created.”
Throughout the event, Marta’s remarkable spirit and impact on the community were celebrated. She fought for environmental justice, education, and equality, and her contributions to the community will always be remembered.
For more information on SBVC scholarships, click here.
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