Raquel Rubio Goldsmith

Areas of Achievement: 
Community Building
Higher Education

Honored By

Honored by: Amazon Foundation
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Arch with Seating

"Raquel Rubio Goldsmith is an educator and historian, having completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Law and Philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Raquel has taught at the Pima Community College since 1969, and at the University of Arizona since 1983. In addition to her professional career, Raquel is a tireless advocate for community and human rights. Activism is an integral part of the content and pedagogy of Raquel's practice as an educator and as a woman. Raquel Rubio Goldsmith melds a curriculum of current and historical conditions of disenfranchised communities with the impetus to promote change and equality.

Raquel was born in the US-Mexico border town of Douglas, Arizona. From there, Raquel's childhood and adolescent experiences began to shape a call to activism. Many of those experiences were not unique or isolated; they were often the experience of Mexican-American families and their children in the Southwest (from educational programs such as 1C which denied access to academic preparation to Spanish surnamed first graders in minority communities, to the systematic educational tracking of minority students in non-academic programs of study).

A Spanish language proverb reads "Poco a poco se anda lejos" [Little by little you walk far]. Little by little Raquel Rubio Goldsmith has challenged the imposition of discrimination and racism in her life, through education and teaching (Raquel had to go to Mexico to continue her education beyond high school because there was no support for female minority students who excelled academically). For over 30 years, little by little Raquel has facilitated a people's pride and self-determination (by working with women, the disenfranchised, and other communities in opening the doors to higher education). Little by little Raquel has made others aware of the importance of securing the rights of all people (Raquel's work in supporting immigration and women's rights, and civil rights in general, is tireless). Raquel's activism like her presence is sincere and humble. The valiant are those who take a stand against injustice, whose life's work becomes embedded in people's hearts and minds; Raquel Rubio Goldmsith is one such woman." --Southwest Institute for Research on Women