Dr. Enrique M. Buelna

Enrique M. Buelna, PhD

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New Book

Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice

Discovering the radical roots of the Chicano Movement.


Buelna argues correctly that Mexican American radicals are underrepresented in written history. As Buelna’s work suggests, the inclusion of Mexican American progressives in U.S. history changes our understandings of civil rights struggles, unionization, and the Chicano Movement of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.”
—Devra Weber, Department of History, University of California, Riverside

“This well-researched study contributes to the fields of California history, Mexican American history, labor history, and race and ethnic studies. The exploration of radical activism by a Mexican American leader is especially significant.”

—Ricardo Romo,
author of East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio


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Chicano Communists and the
Struggle for Social Justice

Discovering the radical roots in the Chicano Movement.

The University of Arizona Press, Published 2019

About me...

I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1989, and my Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1993. As a student in the MPA program, I was also awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.


In the year following the completion of the MPA, I joined a local campaign for the Metropolitan King County Council and worked as a full-time staffer for the newly elected councilmember.


In 1995, my family and I returned to Los Angeles where I worked as a regional organizer for a local political campaign and later as a field deputy for Congressmember Xavier Becerra. Finally, in 2005, I was hired as full-time faculty member in the history department at Cabrillo College and, two years later, I earned my doctorate degree from the University of California, Irvine.


My dissertation examines Mexican American labor activism in Southern California through the life of Ralph Cuaron, a member of the Communist Party, USA and an activist in the Congress of Industrial Organizations. He and his family would become important activists during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The title of my dissertation is Resistance from the Margins: Mexican American Radical Activism in Los Angeles, 1930-1970.


It is a privilege to work at Cabrillo College. Teaching bestows upon me an opportunity to share my enthusiasm for history. It is my passion to inspire students to greatness and to give them an appreciation for the complexity of historical knowledge.


You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train"

--Howard Zinn

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