- 1 Education
- 2 "25 Years"
- 3 Peoples Platform
- 4 MEChA discontent
- 5 MEChA comrades
- 6 MEChA leaders
- 7 Agenda for Action
- 8 LRS membership accusation
- 9 Office occupation
- 10 Confession...of sorts
- 11 SUN
- 12 "A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond"
- 13 Student supplement editor
- 14 Unity
- 15 Unity article
- 16 PowerPac+ Board of Directors
- 17 Birthday with the Phillips'
- 18 Old comrades
- 19 References
Gina (Georgina) Hernandez Clarke is Director of Arts, Stanford University. As Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, from 2001-March, 2011 Hernandez-Clarke developed a variety of art and curricular enhancements under the direction faculty director and Professor of Drama, Harry J. Elam, Jr. The Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) is an interdisciplinary program in the humanities that involves students in the study of culture, identity and diversity through artistic expression. In March, 2011 she joined the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) in the newly created position of Director of Arts in Undergraduate Education. In this new role within VPUE Hernandez is a primary resource for students and faculty interested in engaging with the arts in their courses and studies across all disciplines. Prior to her posts at Stanford University, Hernandez-Clarke has worked in non-profit arts development for the Arts Council of Santa Clara County, City of Long Beach, and various non-profit organizations. She has also worked as a freelance creative producer for independent film, video and live performance projects. 
- Stanford University Bachelor of Arts (BA), History 1984 – 1989
- University of California, Los Angeles - Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Theater, Film, and Television
Students and alumni presented “25 Years: Honoring Student Activism and the Legacy of the 1989 Takeover” October 14, an event to commemorate the student activism that led to the promotion of multicultural integration on campus.
This event celebrated the 1989 takeover, in which 55 students from ethnic groups around campus were arrested after confronting the University’s failure to address racial injustices by storming former Stanford president Donald Kennedy’s office.
“The main purpose of the takeover,” said Jessica Reed ’16, Black Student Union co-president and student performer, “was really trying to create institutional change to go along with the change that was occurring demographically in terms of the students on campus.”
Among other requests, student groups from the Asian American Community Center, Native American Cultural Center and other organizations, demanded that the University expand on current ethnic studies classes, add new ethnic studies programs, increase funding for cultural centers and hire more faculty of color.
The 25th-anniversary commemoration began with a welcome from Jan Barker Alexander, associate dean of student affairs, who addressed how the past can fuel the present.
Following her speech was the student production “Takeover ’89,” directed, written and produced by Ken Savage ’14. The play depicted the motivations behind the takeover, the timeline of events on May 19, 1989, and how current students can respond to these past events. The event followed with a historic perspective presented by Clayborne Carson, a history professor during the time of the takeover. Carson reflected on his thoughts towards the legacy of the takeover, in which he stated that “the [takeover] was one of the proudest moments of my life…we were inspired by the students.”
Lastly, students had a chance to interact with alumni who had participated in the ’89 takeover during the panel discussion titled “Panel: Alumni Reflections.” Alumni Richard Suh ’90, Cheryl Taylor ’90, Gina Hernandez-Clarke ’89 and William McCabe ’89 answered questions regarding their reflections on the takeover and advice for current students.
“We would have no way of anticipating that our actions 25 years ago would have any impact on students today,” Suh said. “It feels really fulfilling; you certainly feel a sense of satisfaction that what you did at one point in time made a big difference.”
“I can’t separate my personal tie to the takeover,” said Hye Jeong Yoon ’14, a student performer in “Take Over ’89.” “All Stanford students benefited, but being a CSRE [Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity] major, I know that I for one would not be the same person if I didn’t make relationships with professors who were hired directly because of this takeover. I am the direct beneficiary of this takeover.”
Among the alumni who attended was Louis Jackson ’91, who was singled out for more serious charges than other students for his actions.
“It’s the past reconnecting with the present. We notice that, yeah, stuff has changed, but there’s also so much more,” Priscilla Agbeo ’18 said.
In the panel discussion with alumni, moderator Alma Medina ’92 stated, “I was enough, I was enough to make a difference — and other people were also enough, so when you put that together, you can really make a difference.”
“This phrase really meant being critical of what you’re being taught and taking control of what you’re being taught and having a say of what you’re being taught,” said Suh.
“To me, self determination for our education means taking ownership of your history. We should be able to learn about it from our lens, not a westernized lens. There’s often a lot of miseducation because it’s in a westernized lens if it’s not in the perspectives that we necessarily would stand for,” Jade Verdeflor ’17 said.
This event was a joint venture between the various culture groups around campus. The participating groups were the Asian American Activities Center, El Centro Chicano y Latino, Black Community Services Center and the Native American Culture Center. This collaboration of cultural groups mirrors the spirit of unity that incited the takeover, in which many student groups came together to create one force.
Letter to the Stanford Daily, Volume 189, Issue 39, 10 April 1986;
- As members of the Third World/Progressive Alliance, we would like to protest the handling of this year's election by Jim McGrath, the elections hearing commissioner. We spent weeks developing the Peoples Platform, a document intended to build an atmosphere of respect for all peoples here at Stanford, in our community and throughout the world. Because we want the 1986-87 ASSU to be responsive to our needs, we have been especially careful not to disqualify the candidates for ASSU Senate who are running to uphold the principles of the Peoples Platform. Since the end of last quarter, we have continuously met with the members of the ASSU Elections Committee to stay within the bylaws of the elections handbook for our campaign to promote The Peoples Platform, and those candidates who have stated their support for the platform.
- Jim McGrath has made it especially difficult for these candidates to campaign by overturning his publicity decisions after they accommodated them. McGrath has been making arbitrary interpretations of the bylaws specifically against these candidates. McGrath has treated the candidates who endorse our platform as a slate regardless of the fact that they have constantly insisted that they are running as individuals. For example, he has forced these candidates to check that none of their fliers "appear" (to him) similar in design. He has also ridiculously stated that the candidates cannot share certain words (which he has defined as "buzz" words), phrases, logos or even the same color flier, despite the fact that they all do agree with principles of the platform. Would McGrath ask that congressional candidates not run under the principles of the U.S. Constitution? We do feel that the just bylaws to any election are necessary and ensure a fair campaign. However, we do object to the fact that McGrath is forcing the candidates to waste time emphasizing differences rather than allowing them to express their own chosen principles for their own campaigns.
Lisa Neeley - Stanford American Indian Organization, Ed Gilliland - Stanford Central American Action Network, Jinny Shinsato - Asian American Student Association, Michael J. Schmitz- Stanford Out of South Africa, Derek Miyahara - Asian American Student Association, Amanda Kemp - Black Student Union, Gina Hernandez - MEChA, Elsa Tsutaoka- Third World Women's Caucus.
A group of Latino students announced December 3 1987 that they intend to form a new student organization that will speak "more accurately" for Stanford's Latino community than MEChA. At a MEChA forum called to discuss MEChA's role on campus, the dissenting movement's leader, senior Rudy Fuentes, spoke in favor of the creation of a broader Latino organization to gain "an open vehicle for people to voice their opinions." Fuentes, a former MEChA leader, said that the problem with MEChA is that although "it has never been voted on, it, by de facto, represents the Chicano community, which is a problem in itself." MEChA supporter Sandra Viera disagreed, saying that MEChA has "had community forums to get input. . . . We do want more input from people. We are open to different stances. Tell us what they are; we'll work on them." Over 40 concerned students, about evenly divided between MEChA supporters and the dissenting group's supporters, packed Casa Zapata's lounge for what Resident Fellow Cecilia Burciaga called "the most attended (Latino) community meeting (in Casa Zapata) in seven or eight years."
According to Fuentes, MEChA planned last night's forum only three days ago in order to pre-empt a meeting of the dissenters' planned for Saturday, which was scheduled to discuss the possibility of forming an alternate group. Fuentes 1 fellow dissenters argued that a new organization is necessary because MEChA has been unwilling to respond to internal dissent. Sophomore Valentin Aguirre criticized MEChA for not respecting all points of view in Stanford's Latino community. He asked, "Will you listen to what I say? You'll let me say whatever I want, but that doesn't mean that you'll act on it."
Longtime MEChA member Lucky Gutierrez, a senior, agreed that some changes in the organization may be necessary, but he argued that changes should be made within the existing MEChA structure. "MEChA has a lot of resources and can do a lot of things," Gutierrez said. "Strengthen MEChA and make it broader." Another controversial topic discussed at the forum was the issue of official University representation. Beckie Flores, siding with Fuentes, argued that it isn't possible to unite the Latino community under the present MEChA structure. She said, "It's not fair to MEChA and those who don't agree with MEChA for MEChA to be the only voice. MEChA should not be forced to compromise. I don't want MEChA to be my voice."
Junior Julie Martinez, a member of MEChA and the El Centro Chicano staff, contended that MEChA is often mistakenly seen as the only voice for Stanford's Latino community. "Organizations like The Daily call and ask MEChA for comment and refer to us as 'MEChA, Stanford's Chicano organization.' We are not the Chicano organization. MEChA speaks for MEChA, not for the whole Chicano community." Fuentes said his main complaint is that MEChA has no formal leaders, which results in a lack of accountability to the community it is seen to represent. "Who can we point to as being responsible?" Fuentes said. "No one is there. We never know who does what." MEChA elects no leaders and has no executive committee. MEChA member Gina Hernandez, a junior, countered Fuentes, saying that MEChA acknowledges its lack of structure, but is working on the problem. 'MEChA has no real structure: that's a given," Hernandez said. "But we're attempting to get structure and personal accountability." Both sides agreed that MEChA has done considerable good for the Latino community and the University community as a whole, citing its work supporting the grape boycott and the Rainbow Agenda, a coalition of ethnicminority groups that last spring called for improvement in minority life at Stanford. Former MEChA member Neil "Chili" Rojas attempted to bring both sides together by saying, "We can grant that MEChA is good. The question is, how can we make MEChA better?" The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to reconvene and discuss the issues Jan. 14.
Finding a new full-time Chicano dean and making El Centro Chicano more student-oriented are the main issues facing Ana Mata and Leticia Valadez, who were elected co-chairs of Stanford MEChA March 29 1989 . For Valadez, a sophomore, a theme of continuity underlies her plans for next year's Chicano/Latino community. "Basically, we're just going to continue with gains made this year," Valadez said. "We've been working toward increasing who MEChA is and what we represent." Mata, a freshman, hopes to "work with the new full-time dean and strengthen El Centro Chicano with improved programming . . . making it a center for Chicano students." Valadez and Mata will replace current chairs senior Gina Hernandez and sophomore Delia Ibarra. Valadez is currently MEChA's social/cultural committee chair and next year's Chicano/Latino Orientation Committee coordinator. Mata has served as the co-chair for the education rights committee. Other officers elected last night include freshman Noel Bravo, El Aguila coordinator; senior Julie Martinez, historian/secretary; freshman Alma Medina, publicity coordinator; and senior Raul Alvarez and sophomore Moira Hernandez, treasurers.
Agenda for Action
Following an emotional meeting with University President Donald Kennedy June 1 1989, Agenda for Action coalition members called the campus disruption charges issued against them a tactic to prevent the development of multicultural education at Stanford. Emerging from Kennedy's office in tears, coalition member Julie Martinez said the University's commitment to ethnic diversity was "nothing but a big lie." By relentlessly pursuing the disruption charges against students who participated in the May 15 takeover of Kennedy's office, the administration is condemning more than the students' actions, said Stacey Leyton, a member of the coalition and the outgoing Council of Presidents. "We feel like they're going after us," she said. "[They are going] after what we represent, which is the movement to make this a more multicultural institution. That's what we feel like is being threatened by these charges." Kennedy told The Daily yesterday that the judicial charges had been issued against those who occupied his office as a matter of University policy. "We're fully committed to multicultural education," he said. Formal charges of violating the University's Policy on Campus Disruption were issued Wednesday to 53 students involved in the takeover of Kennedy's office, which was organized by the Agenda for Action coalition. "(Since) the day after the takeover, we've been told by different administrators that we're guilty, that they're going to take us to the wall," said Judy Wu, a coalition member. "They don't have a fair process set up for us.
Martinez, a senior, expressed deep concern after the meeting with Kennedy that graduating seniors will not receive their diplomas until after the judicial process has been completed. "My mother and father take extra jobs so they can get money to come here [from San Antonio] and see me graduate, and they don't even know if I'm going to be able to or if I will get my diploma because this school can't decide whether me standing up for more Chicano faculty . . . was right or wrong," she said. Junior Cheryl Taylor, a coaliton member, said she had been misled by false promises of multiculturalism when she decided to attend Stanford three years ago. "I can't believe (the administration) has the gall to parade around the country with those badges of multiculturalism," she said.
Gina Hernandez, the former cochair of MEChA, a Chicano/ Latino student group, said students of color were being denied the opportunity to contribute to building a multicultural university. According to Judicial Affairs Officer Sally Cole, as of yesterday, 53 students had been charged with violating the University's policy on campus disruptions. Of these, 50 were among the 56 arrested on misdemeanor charges in the takeover of Kennedy's office. According to Cole, it is "probable" that more students will be charged within the next few days.
Jay Jay Kuo, a coalition member who did not participate in yes-terday's meeting with Kennedy, said the differentiated charges forced him to question the administration's commitment to creating a multicultural university. "How can (the administration) be for our cause when they plan to remove from the cause its strongest supporters?
LRS membership accusation
The group was defended, in a letter to the paper two days later by a group of eight other campus activist;
- Richard Suh says, in the May 23 Daily, that League of Revolutionary Struggle members "are leading progressive politics on campus . . . because they are the best and the hardest workers." He and others "who asked not to be identified" then "charge" that Elsa Tsutaoka, Stacey Leyton, David Brown, Gina Hernandez, Steven Phillips and Ingrid Nava are members of this League (presumably because they are some of the best and hardest workers on campus). All six deny being members of such a group, which the author then uses to imply that they must in fact be members, since the organization is supposedly secretive. The absurdity of such reasoning is apparent, but what concerns us is that irresponsible charges that have serious and detrimental implications for individuals' lives are being published on the basis of rumor and innuendo. Those "accused" by this article deserve our respect and support because of their being the "best and hardest workers."
- The "infiltration" of Stanford by these six hard workers has given us the leaders of Stanford's anti-Apartheid and pro-CIV movements, the coordinator of the 1987 You Can Make A Difference Conference, three student body presidents, a Phi Beta Kappa in history, fighters for the expansion of the Asian American Activities Center and El Centro Chicano, key volunteers and speakers on the 1987 and 1990 YCMAD Conferences, an RA, members of the varsity track and swim teams, a dancer in Ballet Folklorico and much much more. The Daily has come right out and said that Stanford students are too stupid to think for themselves. The League of Revolutionary Struggle has been running things all along, using students for its own ends. But we, those who should know, assert that Stanford students are not dupes and that progressive student politics on campus are decidedly democratic. When a particular plan of action is proposed by any student, others weigh their options and then agree on a path of action.
- It is ironic that the six community members you name have themselves been some of the staunchest advocates of democratic processes. Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with being a Marxist-Leninist? Last time we checked, it was still legal in this country to hold any political beliefs or belong to any organization without alerting the media. Stanford should ask itself why radicals feel the need to avoid explicit mention of their politics. It is easy to get tagged as a radical at this university and have one's ideas and actions written off. To avoid censure you keep your head down and keep your criticism in the mainstream. The odd thing is that many of us are in agreement with Marxists and even that blacks, Latinos, women, homosexuals and many others are oppressed or at least suffer the effects of past oppression? We may disagree with the League's ultimate goals or projects, but is it impossible to work with them where we do agree? (If indeed we could really find them.) The need to avoid this kind of red-baiting will lead student groups to ask radical members to leave in order to avoid trouble. This process can only lead to the stifling of discussion and the weakening of student groups by throwing out "the best and hardest workers." How long before we start hearing that familiar old question before we can participate in student politics: Are you now or have you ever been ...
- Sharon Beaulaurier Sophomore, history
- James Couture Senior, history
- Paul Gager Senior, American studies
- Jason Lewis Co-chair, Stanford American Indian Organization
- Ana Mata Sophomore, undeclared
- Vince Ricci Sophomore, history
- Quynh Tran Senior, human biology
- Cliff Wong Freshman, undeclared
A steering committee which was comprised of at least two members of the League of Revolutionary Struggle and several others who were being actively recruited at the time were behind much of the planning for the May 15, 1989, takeover of University President Donald Kennedy’s office. The protest was staged to demand an Asian-American tenured professor position, a fulltime Chicano dean and a director for the African and AfroAmerican Studies Program among other goals. Although these goals were widely accepted in the color communities that sponsored the action, it was the tactics of the takeover planned by the committee that alienated many students.
“It was the tactics and not the goals (of the takeover) that were planned” by members of the League who sat on the committee, according to a student arrested for involvement in the takeover who knew of the League’s influence. “When specific decisions are made about what tactics to use, such as whether or not to do a takeover for example, these people have a lot of influence, because they’re the ones who are leaders.”
The steering committee met in complete secrecy, deciding that a physical takeover of the building would be necessary to achieve its goals. Gina Hernandez from MEChA and Stacey Leyton from CODE, who sat on the steering committee, are League members, according to a number of sources. Leyton denied having any connections with the League. Hernandez said she had never heard of the League.
Gina Hernandez Viewpoint: "McCarthyite labels strip individuals of their humanity." Letter to the The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 68, 31 May 1990.
- I too was thrust into Stanford’s Chicano community as a frosh (and sophomore) member of El Centro Chicano’s staff trying to contribute to the advancement of Chicano people. As a sophomore, I was one of the co-founders of the current MEChA and was the co-chair last year.
- A very vocal (some might say loud) Chicana female from a poor family background (I was born to a Chicano construction worker and factory worker on 6th Street in East Los Angeles), I have learned much since that time, and my motivation for being active and visions for Chicano students and people have remained constant.
- Throughout my activism, my ideas, “affiliations” and visions have always been very public. Too many of our people’s lives have rotted away in gangs, drugs and prisons for me to be any less than public in my pursuit of a better tomorrow. I have been asked to speak at the National Chicano Student Conference, statewide MEChA conferences, Ivy League schools (no pun intended), community events up and down this state and even was one of the keynote panelists of this year’s You Can Make a Difference conference.
- It is also no secret that I have long read and distributed Unity newspaper on campus and in the community. I have been part of Student Unity Network in this capacity and will never back down from my association with Unity newspaper or anyone who works for or with the paper. I have asked my friends and other people in the movement, including Delia, to be a part of SUN activities and workshops because I openly share my ideas.
"A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond"
Unity, January 28 1991, issued a statement "A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond" on pages 4 to 6.
Those listed as supporters of the call included Gina Hernandez, student desk Unity. .
Student supplement editor
PowerPac+ Board of Directors
Birthday with the Phillips'
Steve Phillips February 20, 2016 ·
Celebrating Georgina Hernandez-Clarke's 50th! — with Georgina Hernandez-Clarke at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant.
Steve Phillips February 9, 2014 near San Francisco, CA ·
Throwback Sunday!! Truly old skool, long-term, lifetime friends. #comrades — with Pierre Barolette, Stacey Leyton, Kathleen Coll, Cheryl Taylor, Amanda Kemp, Michael Jamanis and Georgina Hernandez-Clarke.
- Stanford Daily, Student play honors 25th anniversary of the 1989 takeover October 26, 2014 0 Comments Stephanie Zhang
- [The Stanford Daily, Volume 192, Issue 48, 4 December 1987]
- [The Stanford Daily, Volume 189, Issue 3, 29 January 1986]
- [The Stanford Daily, Volume 195, Issue 69, 30 May 1989]
- The Stanford Daily, Volume 195, Issue 72, 2 June 1989]
- [ Michael Friedly League has played little-known role in campus politics First Published: The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 63, 23 May 1990.]
- PowerPAC+ Board of Directors, accessed Dec. 1, 2014.