Generational Effects of Discrimination in the San Luis Valley. This video introduces and explains the Voices of the Valley project. To better understand the settlement of San Luis Valley, this video is worth the watch.
Description: Southern Colorado, which is predominately inhabited by Hispanic families, is one of the poorest regions in the state. In addition to unemployment rates ranging between 15-20% in some localities, the region reports comparatively high rates of drug abuse and crime. Frequently, outside observers associate high poverty rates, unemployment, and crime with complacent residents. However, a closer look at southern Colorado reveals that deep seeded discrimination has played a particularly pernicious role in the undoing of what were once thriving communities. In particular, over the course of the 20th century, discriminatory lending contributed to unequal opportunities for Hispanic farmers and ranchers. As a result, many local residents lost their land, and with it, a way of life. This presentation focuses on the recent settlement between the USDA and Hispanic farmers, also known as Garcia v. Vilsack, as a means of shedding light on the role of discrimination in driving unequal opportunities in southern Colorado.