The Benson Latin American Collection

Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Records, 1974-1995

Descriptive Summary

Creator Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association
Title Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Records
Dates: 1974-1995
Abstract Records of the Austin chapter of the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association. This collection includes financial records; membership information; correspondence; newsletters; meeting minutes and agendas; and event programs.
Accession No. 2006-17
OCLC Record No.
Extent 10 linear feet
Language English and Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Administrative History

Chapters of the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association (MABPWA) were founded in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio between 1972 and 1974. The Austin chapter of the organization was founded in March 1974. The name for the group was chosen in April of 1974, and the original Steering Committee for the Austin chapter included Annabelle Valle, Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza, Marta de Luna, Sylvia Anita Garcia, Inez Garcia, Hermelinda Rodriguez, Mary Helen Valadez, Martha P. Cotera, Norma Carreon, Susana Elizondo, Ora Gloria, and Carlota Cardenas Dwyer. The Austin Chapter held their first annual meeting on June 27, 1974 with more than 100 women in attendance. At the meeting, they formally adopted the name Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association. MABPWA was the first Texas-based professional organization for Mexican American women that was also run by women.

The three chapters of MABPWA established the following objectives for their organization:

1. To promote a high level of community involvement among Mexican American business and professional women;

2. To become a viable vehicle for expressing the needs and aspirations of the group;

3. To promote the acquisition of organizational skills, public relations and advocacy skills;

4. To effectuate local change affecting Mexican American women through group action;

5. To promote the image of Mexican American women; and

6. To promote communication among women across business and professional lines.

Each club sought to accomplish these goals in ways best suited to their communities. In Dallas, MABPWA focused on rape prevention, career development, and hosting employment workshops for members. It also ran an annual scholarship fund, worked with local girls’ clubs, created charity projects and organized celebrations of September 16th, Mexico’s Independence Day. The Dallas and San Antonio MABPWA chapters also affiliated with the National Federation of Business Women’s Clubs.

In Austin, MABPWA worked to establish a Mexican American library at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. They also started La Semana de la Mujer Chicana (“Chicana’s Week”) in 1976, an annual event of cultural activities and seminars that ended with a banquet to honor outstanding Hispanic women of the community. Over time, the project was endorsed by city and county officials, as well as women in the League of United Latin American Citizens and Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste. The Austin group also sponsored a S.I.S. (Stay-In-School) mentor project with Austin Independent School District.

Many of MABPWA’s early leaders were also politically active. Over time, this lead to MABPWA becoming more involved with local political campaigns and issues. The three chapters pressed for protection of civil rights and condemned the police violence alleged in the Jose Campos Torres case in Houston in 1977. The groups also participated in international celebrations like International Women’s Year in 1977, and International Year of the Child in 1979. With MABPWA campaigning for her, Maria Antoinetta Berriozabal, was elected to the San Antonio city council in 1981. In Austin, MABPWA provided public testimony on women’s issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment, educational needs for divorced or widowed women and single mothers, abuse, discrimination and rape. They also lobbied city officials for increased representation of Mexican Americans.


- Acosta, Teresa Palomo, and Ruthe Winegarten. Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.

- Garcia, Sonia R., et al. Politicas: Latina Public Officials in Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.

- Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Records, Benson Latin American Collection, University Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

- Teresa Palomo Acosta. "MEXICAN AMERICAN BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION," Handbook of Texas Online ( accessed October 07, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Martha P. Cotera

Writer and political activist Martha Cotera, née Martha Piña, was born in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, on January 17, 1939 and moved to El Paso, Texas, as a child. Cotera earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master’s in Education from Juárez-Lincoln University in Austin, Texas. She has worked as a librarian and consultant in Crystal City, Mercedes, and Austin.

Cotera founded Information Systems Development, a consulting firm in Austin and was publisher of the Austin Hispanic Directory. Cotera was active in Raza Unida Party politics, the feminist movement, the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association, and other educational and social agencies. Cotera is also the author of several books and articles on Chicanas.


- Martha Cotera Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Scope and Contents Note

The materials in the Mexican American Business and Professional Women's Association Collection were gathered by Martha P. Cotera. Cotera was a founding member of MABPWA, and amassed the contents during her time with the organization.

The contents of the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Collection date from 1974 to 1995, with the bulk of the materials documenting the period 1974 to 1985. The collection primarily documents the numerous Austin area community activities and projects that MABPWA either began, or were involved with in conjunction with other organizations in the region, such as the Hispanic Women’s Network.

The MABPWA collection has been divided into three series: General Administrative Subject Files, Events and Programs, and Ephemera.

The first series, General Administrative Subject Files, documents MABPWA’s day-to-day operations, as well as the political campaigns they supported, the fundraising they carried out for community projects, and their interest in women’s issues like education and the Equal Rights Amendment. The series also includes materials on the subject of discrimination and civil rights within the Latino community, both in Austin and across Texas. The materials, dating from March of 1974 to 1995, have been arranged into sub-series in alphabetical order: Binders, Board of Directors, Communications, Financial, History, Newspapers, Politics, Sister Organizations and Women. Included are correspondence, by-laws and membership lists, contact information, financial records, newsletters/newspapers, meeting minutes and agendas, and event programs and announcements. There are also several versions of the MABPWA handbook, membership applications, brochures, stationery, and by-laws.

Series two, Events and Programs, documents MABPWA’s work in advocating for social and political issues affecting Latinas across Texas, often in collaboration with governmental, civic, private sector, and other regional affinity groups. The materials, dating from 1976 to 1999, have been divided into 9 sub-series: Business and Employment Workshops, Conferences, General Activities and Programs, Health, International Women’s Year, International Year of the Child, La Semana de la Mujer Chicana, Leadership Workshop, and Stay In School Program. Materials most common in this series include correspondence, training manuals, workshop itineraries, event programs, nomination forms, planning notes, correspondence, event announcements, certificates of appreciation, agendas, articles, resumes, brochures, and pamphlets.

Series three, Ephemera, includes a banner, t-shirt, mugs, pins, buttons, scrapbooks, plaques and proclamations awarded to MABPWA from the City of Austin and O. Henry Middle School in recognition of their service to the community.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Collection are classified under the following Subject Headings:
Cotera, Martha P.
Flores, Mollie
Morin, Lupe
Rodriguez-Mendoza, Amalia
Salazar, Ella D.
Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association--Archives
Hispanic Americans -- Education -- Texas
Hispanic American women--Texas
International Year of the Child, 1979
International Women’s Year, 1975--Texas
La Semana de la Mujer Chicana
Mexican American Education
Mexican Americans--Employment--Texas
Mexican American Women
Mexican Americans--Texas--Politics and Government
Stay In School--Education--Texas
Women--Societies and Clubs--Texas--Sources
Women's rights--United States--History--20th century

Related Material

The Benson Latin American Collection also holds the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Records and the Martha P. Cotera Papers. The Benson Latin American Collection also holds the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas Austin Chapter Newsletter (at call number F 395 S75 H58) and Vision: A Publication of the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (F 395 S75 V57)

The Austin History Center holds the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Records, and the Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza Papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association Records, Benson Latin American Collection, University Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory

General and Administrative Subject Files, 1974 - 1995

1 Binder 1
Various Materials, 1975-1987
1 1975
2 1976
3 1977
4 1978
5 1979
6 1980
7 1981
8 1982
9 1983
10 1984
11 1985
12 1986
13 1987
Binder 2
14 Letterhead and Calendar Sales, undated
15 Newsletters and List of Contacts, 1977-1987
16 MABPWA Handbook 1979-1980
17 MMABPWA Membership List and Appointment Calendar, 1983
2 Binder 3
1 Invoices, 1984
2 Press Releases, 1983-1984
3 Newsletters, 1984
4 Correspondence, 1984
5 Agendas, 1983-1984
6 Christmas, 1982
7 Membership List, undated
8 Newspaper Clippings, 1983-1984
9 Project Proposals, undated
10 Resumes and Vitae, 1984
11 MABPWA Logo, 1983
12 Election Materials and Articles of Incorporation, 1983
13 Various Materials, 1981-1985
14 Various Materials, 1994
Binder 4
15 Board Meeting/Goals, 1994
16 Members Directory, 1988, 1993 - 1994
17 Projected Budget, 1994-1995
18 Austin History Center Oral History Project, 1994
19 20th Anniversary, 1994
20 Meeting Materials, 1994
21 Meeting Materials, 1994
22 MABPWA Advisory Committee, 1994
23 Stay in School Materials, 1994
24 Correspondence, 1994
25 Annual Meeting, 1994
26 Various Materials, 1994
3 Board of Directors
1 Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. Materials, 1981
2 Lettering Materials, 1994
3 Media Releases, 1994
Meetings, 1979-1994
4 1979-1980
5 1981
6 1984-1985
7 1987-1988
8 1989
9 1991-1992
10 1994
11 1994
12 Meeting Materials, Undated
13 MABPWA Membership Records, 1974
14 General Membership List, 1993-1994
15-16 Potential Members, Undated
box folder
4 1-3 Blank Membership Forms, 1992, Undated
4 Blank Membership Profiles, Undated
5 Membership Notes, Undated
6 Nomination Forms, 1994
7 Officer's Duties, 1993
8 Questionnaries, Undated
9 Scholarship Program, Undated
10 Various Materials, 1973-1982
11 Various Materials, 1992
Correspondence, 1979-1994
12 1979-1981
13 1981-1983
14 1983
15 1984-1985
16 1994
17 Flyers, Undated
box folder
5 1-2 Invitations, 1982
3 Invitations and Labels, Undated
4 Letterheads, 1979
5 MABPWA Envelopes, Undated
6 Mailing Lists, Undated
7 Mailing Lists, 1984-1985
8 Newsletters, 1976-1979
9 Newsletters, 1980-1983
10 Newsletters, 1984-1985
11 Sample Invitations, 1993
12 State Directory of Telephones, 1981
13 Stationary, Undated
18 Contact Card Files #1, Undated
19 Contact Card Files #2, Undated
6 Financial
1 Accounts Receivable, 1981
2 Austin Area Women's Credit Union, 1978, N.d.
3 Bank Bag, 1981
Bank Statements, 1980-1984
4 1980-1982
5 1982-1983
6 1984
Bills, 1980-1984
7 1980-1981
8 1981-1982
9 1982-1983
10 1983-1984
11 Bills To Be Paid, 1982
box folder
7 1 Cash Disbursements and Receipts, 1979-1982
2 Corporate Sponsorships, 1989, 1991, 1994
3 Deposit Records, 1983-1984
4 Financial Reports, 1979-1983
5 Financial Statements, 1981
6 Fundraising, Undated
7 Grants - Commission on Race and Religion, 1978
8 Grants - Women's Educational Equity Act, 1979
9 Grants - Selena Rubenstein Foundation, 1980
10 Grants - Women’s Educational Equity Act, 1981
11 Grants - Live Oak Fund, 1982
12 Ledger, 1983-1984
13 Receipts, 1984
14-17 Tax-Exempt Status and Non-Profit Incorporation, 1981
18 Tax Returns, 1981
box folder
8 1-2 Treasury Report, 1990-1991
3 Austin History Center, 1993
4 MABPWA Background Information, 1974
5 MABPWA Brochure, Undated
6 By-Laws, 1979-1980
7 By-Laws, 1981
8 By-Laws, 1988-1995
9 Newspapers
1 Newspapers, 1973-1992
2 Campaign Materials, 1977-1979
3 A Political and Demographic Analysis of Travis County, 1981
Sister Organizations
4 Austin Sister Cities Association, 1981
5-7 Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, 1984-1993
8 League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 1979
9 Mujeres Metodistas Unidas, 1978-1979
10 National Women of Achievement, 1994
11 Service, Employment, Redevelopment (SER), 1978
box folder
10 1 Texas Women Political Caucus, 1981
2 UT Chicano Business Students’ Association, Undated
3 Women from Austin in Political Action (WAPA), Undated
4 City of Austin Employment Information, 1981
5 Divorce Undated
6 Education 1975-1979
7 Employment 1972-1977
8 Equal Rights Amendment Undated
9 Human Rights 1979
10 Neglected Women Article 1977
11 Newspaper Clippings 1981
12 Study titled “Women of Spanish Origin in the United States”, 1976
13 Essay Booklet titled “Women in the Texas Work Force: Yesterday and Today”, 1979

Events and Programs, 1974-1998

10 Business and Employment Workshops
14 Business Owners Training Program materials, 1978-1980
15 “Giving Credit Where it’s Due” Article, 1977
16 Job Hunting? A How To Do It Workshop, 1977
box folder
11 1 Parliamentary Procedures, 1979
2 Resumes, 1983 and undated
3 Resume Writing Article, Undated
4 Retirement and Social Security Pamphlets, Undated
5 Chicana Educational Conference, 1974
6 Chicanas in Management Statewide Conference, 1981
General Activities and Programs
7 Administrative Documents, 1977
8 Administrative Documents, 1978
box folder
12 1 Administrative Documents, 1979
2 Administrative Documents, 1980
3 Administrative Documents, 1984-1985
4 Administrative Documents, 1976-1981 (items separated: 2 guestbooks)
5 Administrative Documents, 1982-1993 (items separated: 2 guestbooks)
box folder
13 1 Administrative Documents, 1983-1984
2 Lupe Morin Correspondence and MABPWA News, 1984-1994
3 Speaker's Bureaus, 1981-1982
4 Trading with Mexico Seminar, 1982
5 Workshops, 1983
6 Austin-Travis County Health Department, 1977
7 Government Plans and Reports, 1977-1978
8 MABPWA Health Study Group, 1978
9 Medicare/Medicaid, undated
14 International Year of the Child
1-2 International Year of the Child, 1979
International Women's Year
3 International Women's Year, 1977-1979
4 The Legal Status of Homemakers, 1977
La Semana de la Mujer Chicana
5 Various Planning Documents, 1976
6 Various Planning Documents, 1977-1984
box folder
15 1 Various Planning Documents, 1980-1981
2 Awards, 1976-1993
3 Mailing List, 1982
4 Award Notification Documents, 1992
5 Various Planning Documents, 1992-1994
6 Program Committee, 1993
7 Lupe Morin Correspondence and Various Documents, 1981-1996
8 20th Anniversary Program, undated
9 Blank Certificates for Outstanding Achievement, undated
Leadership Workshops
10 "The Building Blocks of Community Leadership: Are you ready for the Challenge?," 1995
11 Administrative Documents for Various Leadership Programs, undated
Stay In School Program
12 Directory of the Austin Independent School District, 1980-1981
13 Brochures, 1989-1990
14 S.I.S. training, 1989-1990
box folder
16 1 Mentor Workshop Program, 1990
2 S.I.S. O'Henry Middle School, 1990-1991
3 Mentor Certificates and Newspaper, 1991-1992
4-5 Various S.I.S. Documents, 1993-1994, 1995-1996
6 S.I.S. Training and Planning Materials, 1994
7 S.I.S. Summer, 1995-1999
8 Various S.I.S. Documents, 1989-1993
9 Blank Certificates of Appreciation, 1988-1989
10 S.I.S. Alumni, 1993-1994
Stay In School Program (S.I.S.) - Individual School Files
11 Allan, undated
12 Anderson, undated
13 Austin High, undated
14 Bedichek, undated
15 Burnet, undated
16 Crockett, undated
17 Dobie, undated
18 Johnston, undated
19 Lamar, undated
20 Lanier, undated
21 L.B.J., undated
22 Martin, undated
23 McCallum, undated
24 Murchison, undated
25 O'Henry, undated
26 Porter, undated
27 Reagan, undated
28 Travis, undated

Ephemera, Undated

17 Austin Adopt-A-School Keep Kids in School Award MABPWA Banner (1 item)
MABPWA Day Plaque (1 item)
MABPWA Guestbooks (2 items)
MABPWA Keychain (1 item)
MABPWA Mugs (2 items)
MABPWA Pins (1 box, 1 envelope)
MABPWA Scrapbooks (2 items)
MABPWA T-Shirt (1 item)