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Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales, Denver native and Chicano civil rights movement activist, honored with Google Doodle

Gonzales founded Crusade for Justice, a grassroots Chicano civil rights organization, in 1966
rodolfo corky gonzales.png
Posted at 11:45 AM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 14:00:39-04

DENVER – Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, a Denver native who became one of the most prominent figures in the Chicano civil rights movement of the 60s, is being honored Friday with a Google Doodle.

Gonzales, born in 1928, would grow up to create the Crusade for Justice, a grassroots Chicano civil rights organization in 1966 and later, the Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios in Denver, focusing on Chicano/Mexican American cultural studies.

Gonzales, who graduated high school at the age of 16, would eventually become a Golden Gloves boxing champion, ranking as a top 3 featherweight boxer worldwide, only to see his career halted by discriminatory practices, according to Google’s brief history of Gonzales.

The Doodle slideshow by Brookly, N.Y.-based artist Roxie Vizcarra celebrates the life of the Chicano educator, boxer, poet, and activist with lines from his 1967 epic poem, “Yo Soy Joaquín” (“I Am Joaquín”), which became a rallying cry for the Chicano cultural movement

Two years later, Gonzales would host the First National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference in Denver. His “Spiritual Plan for Aztlán” would later be adopted as the founding manifesto of the Chicano Movement, according to a timeline of his life curated by the Denver Public Library.

The Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, located at 1498 Irving St. in Denver, is named in his honor.

His son, Rudolph “Rudy” Gonzales, is the executive director of Servicios de la Raza, a nonprofit founded in 1972 which provides many services to Latinos and BIPOC communities in the Denver metro area.