Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez
Long-time activist, author, and former SpeakOut speaker, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez passed away on June 29 at the age of 95 years old. Betita was a prolific author, best known for the classic 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures. In the 1960s, she directed the New York office of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later co-founded El Grito del Norte newspaper and the Chicano Communication Center in New Mexico. As a speaker with SpeakOut for over 2 decades, she inspired and educated young people across the country and through her community organizing, she built cross-racial and cross-ethnic alliances, all in pursuit of social justice. Read more about Betita Martinez in the New York Times: Elizabeth Martínez, Voice of the Chicana Movement, Dies at 95.
A life-long scholar and activist, Haunani-Kay Trask passed away on July 3, 2021 at the age of 71. She was an early and fearless leader of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, fighting for self-determination for the Hawaiian people. She was a founding member of the Ka Lahui Hawai'i, the state's largest sovereignty organization. Haunani was the author of From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i and co-producer of the 1993 film, "Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation." For 30 years, she was a professor at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa where she was the founding director of the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. As a former SpeakOut speaker she was fierce and brilliant , challenging our notions of Hawaiian statehood and teaching us, this is what colonialism looks like. Read more about Haunani-Kay Trask in the Honolulu Star Advertisor.
Now Betita and Haunani are with the ancestors!
May their spirits continue to accompany us on this journey towards liberation!