Long-time Chicana Activist, Lawyer Cecilia D. Esquer Dies
Tempe, Arizona. Cecilia D. Esquer, who went from being a high
school teacher to becoming a passionate activist, attorney and
recently published author died on Saturday, December 4, 2010. She
Esquer was born in Superior, Arizona and became a high school
teacher in the mid 1960s. Her advocacy for minority students turned
her into an activist and later led her to get involved in politics and to
attend law school.
She graduated from Arizona State University in 1963 with a degree
in Business Education and became a Spanish teacher at McClintock
High School, in Tempe, Arizona. In 1966 she graduated with a
Master's degree in Spanish from the College of Liberal Arts.
During the Chicano Movement Esquer attended weekly rallies at the
Santa Rita Center, in Phoenix, where she was inspired by Cesar E.
Chavez, who cited the great need for more Mexican-American
lawyers. She graduated from law school at ASU in 1976 and was
admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1977.
Esquer was appointed in 1978 to the Legal Services Corporation
Board (LSC) by President Jimmy Carter. Among the LSC’s members
was Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Esquer's experience as an educator included teaching at Arizona
State University and Phoenix College, where in 1992 she became the
Director for the Legal Assisting Program.
Esquer remained active and even after her retirement from Phoenix
College, when she went back to work for Arizona Attorney General
Terry Goddard in 2002, as the Chief Counsel for the Public Advocacy
Her book “The Lie About my Inferiority, Evolution of a Chicana
Activist” was published in October 2010 by Latino Book Publisher, an
imprint of the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues.
Esquer is survived by her husband Elias Esquer, and her children
Andrea and Marcos.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2010 at
All Saints Catholic Newman Center, in Tempe at 10:30 a.m.
By Eduardo Barraza December 6, 2010
Cecilia D. Esquer was appointed in
1978 to the Legal Services
Corporation Board (LSC) by
President Jimmy Carter.
Photo: Courtesy of the Esquer Family
Published by the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues in Phoenix, Arizona
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