UCLR | UTAH COALITION OF LA RAZA
Contact: Richard Jaramillo, President
UCLR | Utah Coalition of La Raza
801.613.8257 | firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Longtime Latino Leader, Robert “Archie” Archuleta, Dies at 88.
SALT LAKE CITY, January 26, 2019 - Utah Coalition of La Raza (UCLR) is sad to confirm the passing of its former president, educator and longtime community organizer and civil rights activist Robert “Archie” Archuleta.
Archuleta, 88, died Friday evening surrounded by family. The loss of Archuleta will certainly be felt throughout Utah’s Latino community as many viewed Archuleta, along with others of his generation, among the first Chicano activists in Utah.
Born in Grand Junction and growing up during the Great Depression, Archuleta’s family traveled wherever work could be found, often with the railroad or farms, until they were able to settle in Idaho as tenant farmers. Through their struggles, education remained a priority and Archuleta became the first of his family to graduate college when he enrolled at Idaho State College.
In 1953, Archuleta moved to Utah to work as one of the first Latino educators in Salt Lake City School District. Archuleta also continued his own post graduate education at the University of Utah.
Archuleta soon became involved in the budding Civil Right Movement and joined the NAACP since there were no civil rights organizations focused on Hispanic issues at the time. That would soon change as Archuleta and other early Chicano activists began forming organizations to advocate on various issues from civil rights and opposing the Vietnam War to fighting poverty, homelessness, and inequality. All the while, Archuleta played an instrumental role and inspired generations of activists along the way.
For decades, Archuleta remained a prominent educator in Salt Lake City School District, ultimately serving as principal for an alternative high school that would become the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.
Once he retired, Archuleta was appointed by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson to be administrative assistant for minority and community affairs, which he served as for four years.
In his later years, Archuleta led Utah Coalition of La Raza (UCLR), a civil rights advocacy organization, for nine years while serving on numerous other boards and commissions.
UCLR’s current president, Richard Jaramillo, commenting on Archuleta’s passing: “Utah’s Latino community has lost a titan, a champion and advocate for so many issues and causes. Archie helped shape the Latino community, the nature of local activism, and made so many personal connections across the state that his impact has been truly profound.”
Over his long career as both educator and activist, Archuleta has been recognized for his community service by many, including: the NAACP’s Albert Fritz Civil Rights Award, the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Quixote Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mexican Consulate’s Callis Ohtli Award, the Utah Education Association’s Charles E. Bennett Humanitarian and Civil Rights Award, and Centro Civico Mexicano’s Zaragoza Award, and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski recently presented Archuleta and his wife, Lois.
UCLR has honored Archuleta with its first Cesar Chavez Peace & Justice Award in Education in 1993, the UCLR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and at its 25th Cesar Chavez Peace & Justice Awards in 2018 by renaming UCLR’s Lifetime Achievement Award to the Robert “Archie” Archuleta Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Archuleta is survived by his wife, Lois, their five children and six grandchildren.