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El Plan de Nuestro Mural de la Raza

In 1985, Juanita Meza Velasquez organized to paint a 16’ x 82’ Chicano mural on the wall of Payless ShoeSource at 2048 Story Rd, San José, CA 95122 near King and Story Roads. Juanita organized what muralist, José Meza Velasquez would later title Mural de La Raza as a tool to end barrio warfare, empower grafitti artists and barrio youth.

The Mural de La Raza depicted the history and culture of precolumbian lore, the Mexican Revolution, the Chicano Movement, local figures, as well as the very youth who assisted in painting the mural.

After more than three decades of Mural de La Raza being a central fabric of San José’s Eastside, the mural was unlawfyully removed without notice to the artist or members of the public who took interest in its preservation prior to the removal. Not only was uestro Mural de La Raza removed, but so was our history and culture, and one of the only means of public access to Chicano Studies. During the past 15 years in particular we have witnessed a pattern of Chicano murals being removed largley due to gentrification.

In violation of the California Art Preservation Act and the Federal Visual Artists Rights Act, the absence of Chicano studies in public education, and the continued displacement and erasure of our Raza due to gentrification and the prioritizing of business interests over keeping Chicano communities in San José, our community has said YA BASTA!  

WE, the Emergency Committee for the Preservation of Chicano Arts, demand from the owner(s) of property 2048 Story Road, San José, CA 95122 responsible for the removal of the Mural de La Raza, the City of San José and the Santa Clara County Office of Education:

  • Full Restoration of Jose Meza Velasquez's Mural de La Raza.
  • Full protection and historic preservation of the Mural de La Raza, all surviving Chicano murals, and all murals citywide.
  • Equitable resources and employment opportunities to restore, maintain and create Chicano murals, by and for our Raza.
  • Chicano Studies implemented as a mandate in public schools.