Posted: 9/25/23

TAMIU Hosts ‘Tributo a Jovita Idar’ Honoring A Laredo, National Icon


Jovita Idar image

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) hosted a special event celebrating the contributions of Laredo and national icon Jovita Idar on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre.

Admission to “Tributo A Jovita Idar:  Honoring a Laredo National Icon” was free of charge and open to the public. Throughout September, Idar has been celebrated anew nationwide since the release of the United States Mint’s Commemorative Quarter honoring her. 

The University’s celebration of this native Laredo daughter joins other celebrations at universities across Texas and the nation. The TAMIU event afforded the public a rare opportunity to celebrate the life and times of this iconic Laredo heroine and icon.

The TAMIU event included a lecture on Idar and her remarkable contributions as a Mexican-American journalist, activist, and suffragist by Dr. Irma Cantú, TAMIU associate professor of Spanish, and Rebekah Arenaz, University College lecturer.

A special presentation by Melissa Pena of Laredo Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar concluded with the awarding of the United States Mint's new Jovita Idar Quarter from Congressman Cuellar to the University's Special Collection in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. 

Highlighting the program was the innovative performance by the TAMIU Ballet Folklórico of “Tributo a Jovita Idar,” a multimedia/dance performance selection under the direction of Nayeli Lopez Diaz. It was performed in traditional costume and included multimedia projections of archival photographs. 

Among Idar’s key accomplishments was the organization of the first Mexican-American civil rights conference in 1911 to address racism, lynching, and dismal educational opportunities for Mexican-American children. She also helped create the League of Mexican Women, one of the first Latina feminist organizations, serving as its first president. 

She strongly encouraged women’s involvement in public policy and was an advocate for quality bilingual education for Mexican-American children. Throughout her life (1885 – 1946), she stood prominently on the front lines of change for the rights of women and Mexican-Americans.

The Jovita Idar Quarter is the ninth coin in the American Women Quarters Program of the United States Mint.  The depiction of Idar shows her with hands clasped and the fabric of her dress inscribed with some of her life’s accomplishments.

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing, and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu, call 956.326.2180, or click on tamiu.edu.

University news and information can also be found on TAMIU’s social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.