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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Texas Civil Rights Project to Honor Tamez


The Texas Civil Rights Project will honor Dr. Eloisa G. Taméz Oct. 3 at its 18th Annual Bill of Rights Dinner in Austin. Tamez will be presented with the Henry B. Gonzalez Award for her courageous battle against the Dept. of Homeland Security.

The event's program states:

"Dr. Taméz owns land that was part of a Spanish land grant given to her family since approximately 1767. Dr. Taméz was the first landowner to stand up against the Dept. of Homeland Security's plan to build a non-continuous wall as much as a mile north of the Texas Mexico border.


When many others were scared of speaking out against the U.S. government or felt like there was no use, Dr. Taméz demanded that the government provide her details about their plans for her land and was a vocal critic of the injustice of a 18 foot fence planned to run through the middle of her ancestral lands. She worked to organize community meetings to educate herself and other landowners on their rights, built a national coalition of people working against the Wall, and was sued in federal court for her resistance.

She demanded that the federal government follow the law when trying to gain access to her land, and she received a positive ruling from a federal district court. Dr. Taméz has also been working to include cities and counties along the border as parties to the action to stop the Wall from being built."


The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) promotes racial, social, and economic justice through education and litigation. TCRP strives to foster equality, secure justice, ensure diversity, and strengthen communities. TCRP was founded in 1990 as part of Oficina Legal del Pueblo Unido, a non-profit community-based foundation located in South Texas. They have offices in the Rio Grande Valley and Austin, as well as VAWA staff in El Paso and Midland/Odessa.

Since its beginning, TCRP has achieved substantial system gains in ensuring justice for all Texans. TCRP uses education and litigation to make structural change in areas such as voting rights, police and border patrol misconduct, sex discrimination, employment bias, privacy, disability rights, grand jury discrimination, traditional civil liberties (i.e. free speech), and Title IX in secondary education. TCRP also conducts a program under the Violence Against Women Act.

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