IPR is featuring some of the many Hispanic pioneers who have had an impact on the field of public relations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Born in San Antonio, William “Willie” Velasquez had a lifetime of involvement with the Latino community. As a young man, he was a founding member of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO).
After graduating from St. Mary’s University, he helped organize strikes for United Farm Workers in South Texas. Velasquez’s greatest legacy was founding the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in 1974 that encouraged Latinos to run for office, litigated 85 successful civil rights lawsuits, and organized hundreds of nonpartisan get-out-the-vote efforts.
Velasquez died suddenly in 1988 at 44 years old. In 1995 President Bill Clinton awarded the highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Velasquez.
Biography – William C. Velasquez
William C. Velasquez Institute