IPR is featuring some of the many Hispanic pioneers who positively influenced public relations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Emma Tenayuca was a Mexican-American labor organizer and civil rights activist. Tenayuca was born into a large Catholic family in San Antonio on December 21, 1916.
In high school, Tenayuca decided to join a strike of female workers at the H.W. Finck Cigar Company. She watched the police beat up striking workers before she was arrested herself. After high school, she organized a coalition called the Workers Alliance and led protests for issues that particularly affected Mexican Americans. Tenayuca is best known for leading a labor strike against pecan shelling companies who were paying desperate workers just pennies for dirty, difficult work in 1938. It was the largest strike in San Antonio’s history. Tenayuca continued her political activism into the 1940s.
Later in life, Tenayuca became a teacher. She was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991 and died in 1999.
National Park Service