Mainline Protestants, La Raza protestors : Jorge Lara-Braud and the Hispanic-American Institute, 1965-1969
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The Hispanic-American Institute (HAI) was an ecumenical Protestnat agency operated out of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary between 1965 and 1976. Under its first director, Jorge Lara-Braud, HAI became closely involved with the “Raza Unida” mass meetings and other early expressions of the Chicano Movement. This study examines the development of HAI during its first three years, focusing on how it became involved with radical activism, and how Lara-Braud defended that decision to Anglo Protestant leaders. It points to the way in which Lara-Braud linked Civil Rights concepts of integration accepted by liberal “mainline” Protestants to newer, more radical racial politics by invoking the mixed racial heritage of Hispanic peoples – la raza – as an example of the possibility of racial reconciliation in a Christian society.