The Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Arizona, was eliminated in 2011. Shortly afterward, a group of teachers organized to challenge the ban on Ethnic Studies, claiming it was enacted with racial animus and violated constitutional protections. While much scholarship has been written analyzing the bill that contributed to the elimination of the program, a lacunae in the literature has been a focus on the litigation. This article utilizes twenty-one interviews with individuals who were involved in the Gonzalez v. Douglas litigation and successfully overturned the ban in the summer of 2017. Their narratives reveal the importance of what the author terms transformative historical capital, which refers to the transformation that occurs internally when one learns of the tools, knowledge, networks, and determination extant in the Chicana/o community (as well as other communities of color) due to a long history of social movements that sought civil rights and self-determination.

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