TABLE OF CONTENTS
Marta Sotomayor Papers, 1955-2013
Scholar, educator, and health care policy advisor Marta Sotomayor was born December 7, 1932 to Venancio Sotomayor and Catalina Gonzalez, the youngest of four daughters. The first Latina in the United States to earn a doctorate in social work, Sotomayor was a tireless scholar, being extensively published in the areas of planning, policy, gerontology, education, mental health and institution building. Sotomayor dedicated her career to improving health care policy, with a particular focus on addressing the issues faced by the Latino elderly community. Sotomayor noted the very limited resources available for, and inordinate rates of poverty faced by the Latino community.
Sotomayor’s early upbringing was spent in San Diego before her family relocated to Mexico City during the Great Depression, returning to California in the 1940s. Attributing it to a household that placed a strong emphasis on education, Sotomayor excelled at school, graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 1955 with a B.A. in social welfare, a Master of Social Work from Smith College in 1960, and a PhD in social work with a concentration in planning and policy analysis from the University of Denver in 1973. In addition to her status as a Kellogg Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, Sotomayor was recognized by a number of professional and community based organizations; she was recognized by the Public Health Service Hispanic Employee Organization for her work on cultural heritage events from 1981 to 1984, in 1991 she was awarded the National Golden Rule Award in 1991 for her volunteer work, and in 2009 she was awarded the inaugural University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work Notable Scholar Award.
Sotomayor’s early professional career centered around academia: a faculty member at the California State University at San Diego School of Social Work, the University of Denver, Metropolitan State College, Baylor School of Medicine, Howard University, University of Maryland, and from 1973 to 1977, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Houston, School of Social Work.
Her professional focus would shift to administrative work, holding a variety of positions from 1977 to 1985 in organizations such as the U.S. Public Health Service, Administration for Mental Health, Drug Abuse and Alcohol, and the National Institute of Mental Health. From 1984 to 1995 she was assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services, working on the Secretary’s Task Force on Minority Health. A professional milestone, Sotomayor was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the 1995 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) Policy Board.
From 1986 to 2003, Sotomayor served as the president of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCoA), a non-profit, membership based organization, dedicated to promoting, educating, and advocating for research, policy, and practice in the areas of economic security, health, and housing.
Sotomayor passed away on June 24, 2013, in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she retired after leaving Washington, DC.
The Marta Sotomayor Papers are made up of personal and biographical materials, professional correspondence, written works, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia, documenting the life and career of the Latina scholar, educator, and policy advisor Marta Sotomayor. The collection is arranged in four series: Personal and Biographical Materials, Professional Materials, Oversized Materials, and Audiovisual Materials.
Personal and Biographical Materials contains resumes, biographical sketches, personnel forms, personal correspondence, the 1955 yearbook from the University of California Berkeley, and a file containing some items of Raquel Baldwin, Marta Sotomayor’s sister.
Professional Materials contains two subseries and two additional files. The first subseries, correspondence and memos, contains letters, invitations, and memos from Sotomayor’s professional life. Of note are correspondence and memos from the U.S. House of Representatives, concerning Sotomayor testifying for the Select Committee on Aging in 1992. Also of note are correspondence and materials from and leading up to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, including letters from President Bill Clinton.
The written work and publications subseries contains articles, editorials, speeches, and project proposals, written or co-written by Sotomayor. Also included are materials of which Sotomayor served as editor or reviewer, publications not authored by Sotomayor that she was interested in, programs and publications of conferences in which Sotomayor was often a speaker, and lastly clippings in which Sotomayor is either mentioned or appears as an interview subject. The final two files in the Professional Materials series contain photographs from the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and a 1999 National Hispanic Council on Aging conference, and various certificates and awards.
The Oversized Materials series contains three issues of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging newsletter, clippings in which Sotomayor appears as a subject, posters from a talk Sotomayor gave at Ithaca College in 1998, her certificate for the Policy Committee of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, and lastly the awards and commemorative materials subseries, containing plaques, awards, and other commemorative materials from a number of different organizations and events.
The final series, Audiovisual Materials, contains video recordings (VHS tapes), a CD and a floppy disk. The videos include a recording of the 123rd episode of Hispanics Today and a DH/Perfil Latino TV episode, both of which feature interviews with Sotomayor.
Standard copyright restrictions apply.
Cite as: Marta Sotomayor Papers, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
Accession numbers: 2014-43
Collection processed by Rodrigo Leal, July 2018.
No further materials are expected for this collection.