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Centering Truths, Not So Evident

Updated: Jul 13

by Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez via Medium.com


On August 25th, 2020 anthropologist, historian and cultural consultant, Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, shared a history-filled article about the opportunity we all have to examine the symbols in our community and their history. Specifically, he speaks to the Soldier's Monument at the center of the Santa Fe Plaza.


This article has been suggested by several CHART participants as recommended reading.


"In the current reckoning with truths about the past — some of which are not so evident — we have an opportunity to examine the symbols placed at the centers of our communities. Towns and cities have long imbued their plazas and squares with meaning, often by placing steel, stone and bronze monuments in public spaces. Many of them have served as instruments of power, glorifying icons of empire and colonial violence, including White supremacy, patriarchy and slavery. The campaigns to erect these pieces also reflect intentional efforts to codify historical memory through mythology, aimed at purposefully harming all those who stood in their shadows."

Read the full article here.


Anthropologist, historian, and cultural consultant, Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez is the former Senior Vice President of Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also served as the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the state historian of New Mexico and is currently the CEO and the founding principal of Creative Strategies 360°. He received his B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. An heir to these complex legacies, a native son of New Mexico, with ancestral and living ties to both Native American and Hispano/Chicano communities, he is in the process of completing his book focused on American Indian slavery and legacy.

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