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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Frances Teran

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(61 pages)

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Frances Terán grew up in San Antonio, attended St. James Catholic School and St. Francis Academy, and wrote for the academy's school newspaper. She attended St. Mary's University and, as a student, worked with the Youth Services Project. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1993. She worked with the Bexar County Metropolitan Youth Agency, the Community Development Block Grant program, and the Bexar County Local Development Corporation prior to heading the San Antonio office of the National Council of La Raza.

Interview Summary:

Frances Terán begins with the background of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and explains the organization's purpose and financial backing. She describes the NCLR Texas Affiliate Network and talks about other Hispanic non-profit programs across the southwest, including the Texas Migrant Council. She discusses the criteria which must be met for community based organizations to become affiiliated with the NCLR and compares major foundations funding programs in Houston and Dallas which appear to favor the African American community over the Mexican American community. She covers her work with the Bexar County Metropolitan Youth Agency, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and the Bexar County Local Development Corporation. She talks about a suit against Bexar County by the Bexar County Legal Aid Association requiring the county to fund assistance to the poor and about using CDBG funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to construct facilities to allow handicap accessibility to county buildings. She comments on Henry Cisneros' positive impact on San Antonio as its mayor and recalls her family background and childhood years, highlighting her meeting of Richard M. Nixon, Hubert H. Humphrey, Henry B. Gonzales, and George Bush. She credits Raul Yzaguirre's leadership at NCLR for the progress made on issues concerning Hispanic Americans and elaborates on a controversy based on funding from the Coors Foundation. She states her opinions about Levi Strauss and Company which closed its San Antonio plant in response to the organized labor efforts of the San Antonio Coalition of the United Force and Mujer Obrera. She notes the careful review NCLR gives to public issues and expresses her views on how the Hispanic community is perceived by the African American community. She mentions the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation in relation to economic development issues between the United States and Mexico and points to El Paso and South Texas as natural benefactors of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the North American Development Bank. She cites the drop out rate of Mexican Americans and stresses the importance of meeting the educational needs of the Hispanic community. She concludes by pondering the future leadership of NCLR at the national level.

Locations of residence or activity:

San Antonio

Interview Date: