Interviewee: Alicia M. Payan Cedillos
Interviewer: June Hahner
Date: November 18-21, 1977
Alicia M. Payan Cedillos, 23, from Los Angeles, worked as an assistant administrator at a bilingual/bicultural childcare center. Cedillos attended the National Women’s Conference as a member of the organization Commission Feminine Mexicana Nationale. She was also a member of the Chicana Caucus and wanted to attend the national meeting because she believed there was a need for more minority input. Issues important to Cedillos include: the needs of minorities, passing the Equal Rights Amendment, and Chicanas within the feminist movement.
Alicia M. Payan Cedillos: Alice Payan Cedillos.
June Hahner: And you are from?
AC: California, Los Angeles. I’m here as a member of Commission Feminine Mexicana Nationale, and part of the Chicana Caucus.
JH: We’re just really asking people, and this is a series of questions, just why they’ve come, what they’ve been doing, what they’re interested in.
AC: Okay. I came because at the California meeting I saw that it was necessary to get more minority input into what was going to happen in at the IWY. It basically was very general to meet the interests of everybody, the national plan I’m talking about, and so we wanted to point out that there were special needs of other minorities, minority women. And this was not to fragment the goal of the International Women’s Year Conference but to make clarifications that (recording cuts out at 1:21).
JH: Okay, I think…
AC: And so that’s when I decided I would come. We were here to pass ERA, we did it last night, it was just fantastic. You know, we are going to, the minority women are going to present resolutions today and hopefully they will be passed. The Hispania Caucus met and has prepared (recording cuts out 1:53). What’s the question?
JH: Well, we were talking about I guess general things like why you come here and what – no, what you were doing before that’s how you got interested in all this.
AC: What I was doing before. I don’t know.
JH: What kind of things do you do? What are your general interests and activities?
AC: Okay, I think that I became involved with the Chicana feminist organization because as I was growing up I was aware that I had difficulty in identifying what I was, whether I was a woman, I was a Chicana, whether I was a person, where was my place going to be, and the philosophy of feminism and the Chicanos sometimes clash. And I find that there were other women who agreed with that. And it felt good to find out that other women, you know, were aware of this and were going to work towards, I guess adjusting – what’s the, I don’t know the word.
JH: Well, make it up. No worries.
AC: I was glad to see they were going to resolve the conflict between feminism and, and the Chicana culture, Chicano culture. And that’s part of it, I mean, that’s a big part.
JH: How long have you been doing this? When did you start?
AC: Well, I became involved with Chicana issues about a year and a half ago. I’m 23, I like the involvement. I am usually, I like to sit back and listen. This time I really feel good because I’m a part of it, everything happening. And that’s pretty much it. It’s nice to listen but it’s nice sometimes to do it, too.
JH: What kind of job do you do? (recording cuts out 4:05) I asked you before about your occupation.
AC: Okay, I’m assistant administrator at a bilingual/bicultural childcare center. Prior to that I was working with the children, I worked as a teacher there for a year. I like working with children, I hope to eventually go back to school and go into early childhood education and just drown myself in it. I just really love it, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Excuse me. (Recording cuts out at 4:42. Voices heard in conversation in background 4:42-5:26, discussing signing up on for more information on activities.)
JH: What are your impressions of this meeting?
AC: We’re getting it done. By the passage of ERA we accomplished something here. We’re meeting people. I’m very impressed with the fact that people want to move with the issues, they don’t want to get hung up on, on other things and allow people to disrupt. I think overall we’re really having a good, a good meeting, a good Conference. The one thing I’m concerned about is I feel that the media is really picking up on, on the reactionaries around and I wish that that were not so.
JH: – earlier about how many people and the different Chicano organizations.
AC: Yeah, yeah. That’s the other thing that’s been fantastic that we’ve accomplished. We found that there are so many of us in the United States and we have the same goals, hopes, desires, and loves. And we’re going to see if we can pull it together. We hope that this meeting is going to, has brought us together and is going to help us develop… (recording cuts out 6:42).
JH: – the meeting would help you develop as a group?
AC: Yeah, yeah, develop as a group and also help us – I’ve really run out of things to say.
JH: Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground, but just your general impressions of the meeting, what you think it’ll lead to in the future, for you or for anyone else?
AC: I think that it’ll lead to us getting together and this meeting has taught us how, that we can get something accomplished together.
End of Interview.