Skip to main content

Gracia Molina de Pick Papers

Identifier: MS-0513

Scope and Contents

The Gracia Molina de Pick Papers (1902-2013) document the personal, professional, and activist background of Molina de Pick and include: reports, correspondence, promotional materials, organizational records, conference materials, legal documents, teaching materials, press clippings, photographs, original artwork, and ephemera. The collection is divided into eight series, all organized alphabetically: Biographical, Writings, Correspondence, Education Materials, Women’s Rights, Activism and Political Involvement, Buttons and Name Badges, and Art and Posters.

The Biographical series (1945-2019) chronicles Gracia Molina de Pick’s personal life and family. The series is split into two sub-series: Personal Papers and Photographs. The Personal Papers sub-series (1945-2019) consists of documents pertaining to Molina de Pick’s schooling, family, and job searches. Several versions of her curriculum vitae are included, as well as articles about her achievements and records of her education. The Photographs sub-series contains undated images of Molina de Pick and feature her professional life.

The Writings series (1963-2011) contains works by Molina de Pick, divided into two sub-series: Published and Unpublished. The Published sub-series (1974-2003) includes writings and drafts of works that Molina de Pick completed and published. Mujeres en la Historia/Historias de Mujeres by Gracia Molina Enriquez and Carmen Lugo, is present in this sub-series through drafts and pre-publication formats. The Unpublished sub-series (1963-2011) is comprised of Molina de Pick’s handwritten notes on various subjects, and is topically organized.

Correspondence (1964-2012) includes personal letters, solicitations, and professional correspondence. Noteworthy correspondence is listed by the name of the individual or organization.

The Education Materials series (1962-2012) is divided into three sub-series: Bilingual Education, California Postsecondary Education Commission, and Higher Education. The materials in this series reflect her professional career as educator as well as her reform efforts made within those positions. Types of materials included in these sub-series are reports, legislation, correspondence, and Molina de Pick’s teaching materials. Of particular note in the Bilingual Education sub-series is the assembly bill and drafts of the Bilingual-Bicultural Education Act of 1976, which established transitional bilingual education programs in public schools. Noteworthy materials also include the Mesa College Chicano Studies major proposal and guidelines and materials relating to the founding of Thurgood Marshall College (Third College) at the University of California, San Diego, found in the Higher Education sub-series.

The Women’s Rights series (1961-2006) is divided into seven sub-series: Chicana Activism, Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional, Feminist Organizations, National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), Reproductive Rights, Women's History and Women's Rights Publications, and Women's Rights Conferences. This series is prominent in the collection and reflects Molina de Pick’s lifelong dedication to the feminist movement. Materials included in these sub-series are journal articles, meeting minutes, reports, promotional materials, correspondence, and conference materials. Notable items include founding documents for both Mexican American Women's National Association (MANA) and the National Chicana Foundation found in the Chicana Activism sub-series. Also of note is the Women’s Hall of Fame file, which includes planning documents and records of Molina de Pick’s induction in 2002 and is located in the Women's History and Women's Rights Publications sub-series. Highlights also include materials from the four United Nations women’s conferences and the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year (IWY), found in the substantial Women's Rights Conferences sub-series. Materials from this conference include a transcript of Gloria Steinem’s speech with Molina de Pick’s annotations, copies of the National Plan of Action, the published report and drafts, and President Carter’s response.

The Activism and Political Involvement series (1902-2012) is the largest of the collection and contains materials primarily from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Materials predating 1930 were collected for research purposes. This series is divided into fifteen sub-series: Chicano Activism, Chicano Cultural Identity and History, Civil and Human Rights, Community Engagement, Democratic Party, Education Reform, Environmentalism, Health Care, Immigration, Indigenous Community Rights, International Relations, Labor Rights, United States Census, United States/Mexico Relations, and Youth Advocacy. Types of materials included in these sub-series are government reports, press clippings, research papers, creative writing, convention materials, and calls to action. Highlights include Molina de Pick’s speech given at a conference at San Diego State University’s Cross Cultural Center in 2005 located in the Chicano Activism sub-series, files regarding the founding and works of the Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE) found in the Education Reform sub-series, and materials obtained through Molina de Pick’s membership on the Census Advisory Committee for the Spanish Origin Population for the 1980 Census found in the United States Census sub-series.

The Buttons and Name Badges series (1980-2012) is comprised of collected ephemera. The materials within are split topically, between political campaigns and activist organizations. Buttons represented include the Democratic Party, United Farm Workers, La Raza Unida, the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), and women’s rights groups.

The Art and Posters series (1973-2010) contains works of original art and printed posters. Art varies by medium and depicts Chicano or African culture, including several pieces by Chicana artist Yolanda Romero. Most of the posters advertise events or promote individuals.


  • Creation: 1902-2019
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1960-1985


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Gracia Molina de Pick, a prominent educator, feminist, and community activist, was born March 21, 1928 in Morelia, Michoacan. Growing up, she was surrounded by a family of political reformers. In 1946 at age 18, she traveled to Paris to attend the founding congress of the International Union of Socialist Youth, and subsequently behind the Iron Curtain to Yugoslavia to help rebuild the country's railroads. This successful work marked the beginning of a lifetime of activism.

Molina de Pick moved to California in 1957 and proceeded to earn Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Spanish Language from San Diego State University. She pursued doctoral studies at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Southern California in Education Administration. Molina de Pick continued to work in higher education, and is particularly remembered within the San Diego community for being an integral part of the establishment of the nation’s first associate’s degree in Chicano Studies at Mesa College and a founding faculty member of Thurgood Marshall College (Third College) at the University of California at San Diego. Both programs were evidence of Molina de Pick’s endeavors to incorporate a wider scope of educational topics, especially Chicano culture, into the standard curriculum. She also worked extensively to promote bilingual and bicultural education, particularly at Sweetwater Union High School. Her bilingual education reform led her to become a founding member and the San Diego chapter president of the Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE). Molina de Pick was also the first San Diegan appointed to the California Postsecondary Education Commission in 1975.

Gracia Molina de Pick joined the Democratic Party in 1971. Shortly after joining, she helped to found Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional, the first national Chicana Association. She also became an active member and leader of many other organizations devoted to feminism, Chicano rights, civil rights, and labor reform. Her involvements include the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), the Mexican American Women’s National Association (MANA), the National Council of La Raza, the United Farm Workers, and the Chicano Federation. She attended the United Nations Conferences in Mexico City, Nairobi, Copenhagen, and Beijing, the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas, and several Democratic National Conventions. She was also appointed to serve on the Census Advisory Committee for the Spanish Origin Population for the 1980 census. Prior to her retirement, she also served as a Human Resource Consultant for the Agency for International Development (African Bureau) of the U.S. State Department and for the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. At this stage of her career, Molina de Pick had completed and published Mujeres en la Historia/Historias de Mujeres with Carmen Lugo, a book that includes voices of women absent from the previous historical record.

Molina de Pick’s dedication to serving the community and advocating for the rights of others, as well as professional accomplishments, have been recognized at the local, state, and national levels. Amongst her many honors, Molina de Pick received the Points of Light U.S. Presidential Award from George H.W. Bush, the Community Activist Award from the Chicano Federation, the Teacher of the Year Award from Mesa College, and was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

Gracia Molina de Pick was married to Richard Pick and raised three children, Milan, Adele, and Daniel. She passwed away in August of 2019..


34.92 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


Arrangement Note

I. Biographical, 1945-2019

1. Personal Papers, 1945-2019

2. Photographs, n.d.

II. Writings, 1963-2011

1. Published, 1974-2003

2. Unpublished, 1963-2011

III. Correspondence, 1964-2012

IV. Education Materials, 1962-2012

1. Bilingual Education, 1967-1996

2. California Postsecondary Education Commission, 1970-1981

3. Higher Education, 1962-2012

V. Women's Rights, 1961-2006

1. Chicana Activism, 1966-2005

2. Comision Femenil Mexicana Nacional, 1973-2003

3. Feminist Organizations, 1968-2005

4. National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), 1971-1987

5. Reproductive Rights, 1974-2004

6. Women's History and Women's Rights Publications, 1971-2006

7. Women's Rights Conferences, 1961-2006

VI. Activism and Political Involvement, 1902-2012

1. Chicano Activism, 1967-2009

2. Chicano Cultural Identity and History, 1928-2010

3. Civil and Human Rights, 1966-2012

4. Community Engagement, 1966-2009

5. Democratic Party, 1973-2004

6. Education Reform, 1965-1985

7. Environmentalism, 1971-1981

8. Health Care, 1967-1994

9. Immigration, 1956-2011

10. Indigenous Community Rights, 1968-2000

11. International Relations, 1971-1997

12. Labor Rights, 1968-2009

13. United States Census, 1970-1985

14. United States/Mexico Relations, 1902-2011

15. Youth Advocacy, 1968-2011

VII. Buttons and Name Badges, 1980-2012

VIII. Art and Posters, 1973-2010

Source of Acquisition

Daniel Pick



Related Materials

MANA of San Diego County Records, 1986-2002

Rene Nuñez Memorial Collection, 1968-2008

Carmen Sandoval Fernandez Poster Collection, 1974-1983

Arturo Casares Papers, 1968-2007

Maria Garcia Papers, 1968-1997

Enriqueta Chavez Papers, 1955-2000

Chicano Federation of San Diego County Records, 1968-1980

Rita Sanchez Papers, 1988-2007

Separated Materials

Several published materials have been cataloged and can be found here. Local independent newspapers have also been added to the Radical Ephemera and Underground Publications Collection.

Gracia Molina de Pick Papers
Kira Hall and Taylor de Klerk
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US