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The Hispanic hero history forgot

The Hispanic hero history forgot

COS shows documentary about Maria Moreno, a migrant mother who became the voice of farm labor long before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta


VISALIA – Years before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta launched the United Farm Workers, Maria Moreno picked up the only weapon she had—her voice—and became an outspoken leader in an era when women were relegated to the background. The first farm worker woman in the U.S. to be hired as a union organizer, Maria’s story was silenced and her legacy buried­—until now.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, College of the Sequoias (COS) will show the film “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno,” a documentary on the discovery of lost photographs of a migrant mother that sparked the search for a hero that history forgot. The documentary premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival in 2018, and will have a national primetime broadcast on the PBS series Voces sometime before the end of this year.

Adios Amor was produced and directed by documentary filmmaker and writer Laurie Coyle. Her film Orozco: Man of Fire aired on PBS American Masters and was nominated for the Imagen Award and National Council of La Raza ALMA Award. Laurie’s writing credits include the award-winning hillbilly, the PBS specials Speaking in Tongues, The Slanted Screen, Life on Four Strings and The Journey of the Bonesetter’s Daughter: The Making of an Opera. 

Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Latino Public Broadcasting, San Francisco Arts Commission and Creative Work Fund, among others. 

She associate-produced The Fight in the Fields, Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, and American Masters’ Ralph Ellison: An American Journey. 

Before becoming a filmmaker, Laurie majored in political theory at UC Berkeley and worked as an oral historian, focusing on the untold stories of women workers. Her first connection to the farmworkers was through her father, who volunteered at the UFW clinic in Delano during the 1960s grape strike.

The event is being put on by the COS Cultural Historical Awareness Program (CHAP). CHAP events are hosted on the COS Visalia Campus, Ponderosa Lecture Hall. All CHAP events are free and open to the public. Parking is free. 

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