SEPTEMBER 7, 1885–JUNE 15, 1946
Journalist and activist Jovita Idár was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1885. She earned her teaching certificate in 1903, but after seeing how poor conditions were for her Mexican American students attending segregated schools, she became a reporter.
She wrote for her father’s newspaper, La Crónica, and spoke out against the racist discrimination faced by Mexican Americans. In 1911, Idár became the first president of La Liga Femenil Mexicanista (the League of Mexican Women). The group’s primary goal was to improve the education of Mexican children in Texas. It raised money to buy school supplies and provided food and clothing to those in need. Additionally, the group sought to raise awareness of anti-Mexican social and economic discrimination while fighting for Mexican American civil rights.
In 1913, Idár served as a nurse during the Mexican Revolution before returning to the United States and working for another newspaper, El Progreso. In 1917, she moved with her husband to San Antonio, Texas, where she kept working to promote civil rights and later established a free kindergarten.
She died in 1946 at age 60.
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