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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Muscatine Migrant Committee records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1962-2005
Creator: Muscatine Migrant Committee
Extent: 5.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0745
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Migrant agency that advocated for agricultural laborers employed temporarily on eastern Iowa farms.

Alternate Extent Statement: Artifacts in Box 13
Slides in Box 12

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 989) were donated by Juan and Marta Cadena in 2007 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Muscatine Migrant Committee records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

The Muscatine Migrant Committee (MMC) was established in 1958 to assist the approximately 1,000 agricultural laborers and their families who worked seasonally in the fields around Muscatine. Most of the migrant workers were U.S. citizens from Texas who cultivated tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons on local farms during the summer months and returned to Texas at the end of the growing season. University of Iowa (then the State University of Iowa) student Skip Andrews initiated the formation of a migrant ministry when he brought the needs of Muscatine migrant workers to the attention of the Iowa Council of Churches in 1957. Staffed by four college students, the migrant ministry's "Harvester Team" operated a day care center, educational programs for children, and a Spanish-language radio broadcast service.
During the late 1960s, the MMC increasingly turned its attention to the root causes of poverty. Bilingual nurses and activist nuns, Sister Irene Munoz and Sister Molly Munoz, provided heatlh care to migrant workers, documented living conditions in many Iowa migrant camps and worked to pass and enforce protective legislation for Iowa migrant workers and their children.
In 1970, Juan Cadena became the first Latino to head the Muscatine Migrant Committee. Raised in Saginaw, Michigan, the son of Tejano migrant workers, Cadena was active in the Brown Berets and the national grape boycott campaign before moving to Iowa with his wife, Marta Cadena, and their children. Under the leadership of the Cadenas, the Muscatine Migrant Committee expanded its services to encompass a dental clinic, health clinic, and a greater focus on bilingual education. Cadena served on the task force appointed by Governor Robert Ray that was instrumental in the creation of the Spanish Speaking Peoples Commission in 1976, the forerunner of the Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.

The Muscatine Migrant Committee (MMC)records date from 1962 to 2005 and are organized in the following series: Administration, Juan Cadena, Marta Cadena, Education, Health, Organizations: Iowa, Organizations: other states, Newsletters, Reports and writings, Slides, and Artifacts.

The Administration series includes a 1962 report detailing the origins of the Muscatine Migrant Agency in the 1950s. Board of director minutes and correspondence after 1970 reflect new directions of the Muscatine Migrant Committee under the leadership of Chicano activist Juan Cadena, the first Latino to hold the position of director.

The Juan Cadena series provides insight into Cadena's background and activism in Saginaw, Michigan, in the 1960s, including his involvement in the international grape boycott campaign led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the Poverty People's Alliance and La Raza Unida.

The Marta Cadena series includes her employment with the Farmers Home Administration in the 1980s.
LULAC Council 10 records (IWA); Ernest Rodriguez papers (IWA); Irene Munoz papers (IWA); Shirley Sandage papers (IWA).

Browse by Series:
Series 1: ADMINISTRATION
Series 2: JUAN CADENA
Series 3: MARTA CADENA
Series 4: EDUCATION
Series 5: HEALTH
Series 6: ORGANIZATIONS: IOWA
Series 7: ORGANIZATIONS: OTHER STATES
Series 8: NEWSLETTERS
Series 9: WRITINGS AND REPORTS
Series 10: SLIDES
Series 11: ARTIFACTS

  • Series 1: ADMINISTRATION
  • Box 1:
  • History - 1962-1963
  • Annual meetings/reports - 1962-1975
  • Annual reports - 1964
  • Annual reports - 1966-1970
  • Annual reports - 1971, 1973
  • Annual reports - 1974
  • Board minutes - 1963-1967, 1974
  • Board of directors information manual, undated
  • Conferences and events - 1974-1982
  • Correspondence - 1964-1971
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence - 1973-1979
  • Correspondence - 1980-1995
  • Correspondence: Proteus - 1982-1983
  • Correspondence: Eastern Iowa organizations - 1968-1990
  • Office of Economic Opportunity - 1972-1979
  • Newspaper clippings - 1967-1982
  • Newspaper clippings - 1983-1987
  • Miscellaneous - 1975-1982
  • Series 2: JUAN CADENA
  • Box 2:
  • Certificates - 1978-1984
  • Contacts - 1970-1980
  • Correspondence, Saginaw, Michigan - 1964-1971
  • Correspondence - 1991-1992
  • Daily record books - 1979-1980
  • International correspondence schools - 1968
  • Box 3:
  • International correspondence schools - 1968
  • Personal history - 1958-1970
  • Notes - 1970
  • Notes, undated
  • Poverty People's Alliance, Michigan (folder 1) - 1967-1971
  • Poverty People's Alliance, Michigan (folder 2) - 1967-1971
  • Poverty People's Alliance, Michigan (folder 3) - 1967-1971
  • Series 3: MARTA CADENA
  • Box 3:
  • Conference, "Mission in the 80s" - 1980
  • Employment - 1980-1982
  • Employment, Farmers Home Administration (folder1) - 1974-1981
  • Box 4:
  • Employment, Farmers' Home Administration (folder 2) - 1975-1981
  • Personal - 1981
  • Series 4: EDUCATION
  • Box 4:
  • General - 1971-1975
  • Application for federal assistance - 1975
  • Bilingual education - 1974-1977
  • Bilingual education - 1974-1981
  • Chicano Educational Productions - 1974-1975
  • Catholic confirmation class, undated
  • "Milliken v. Bradley: Implications for Metropolitan Desegregation" - 1975
  • "Muscatine Excellence in Education" grant proposal - 1989-1990
  • Muscatine summer program for migrant children - 1971
  • Box 5:
  • "Milliken v. Bradley: Implications for Metropolitan Desgregation" - 1974
  • "Muscatine Excellence in Education" grant proposal - 1989-1990
  • "Language Development Summer Program for Migrant Children Handbook" - 1971
  • Muscatine schools mentoring program (folder 1) - 2000
  • Muscatine schools mentoring program (folder 2) - 2000
  • Publications - 1970-1979
  • Reports: Racial and ethnic census, Iowa public schools - 1968-1975
  • Education resources - other states - 1971-1979
  • Series 5: HEALTH
  • Box 5:
  • Correspondence/reports - 1971-1990
  • Family planning - 1972-1977
  • Migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Iowa - 1977-1981
  • Box 6:
  • Family planning - 1972-1977
  • Migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Iowa reports - 1977-1981
  • Migrant health projects (folder 1) - 1971-1980
  • Migrant health projects (folder 2) - 1975-1991
  • Iowa Advisory committee Report on Migrant Conditions in Iowa - 1976
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Interpreter program - 1975
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Interpreter Program - 1975
  • Series 6: ORGANIZATIONS: IOWA
  • Box 6:
  • General, Muscatine - 1966-1991
  • Catholic Daughters of America - 1995-2005
  • Box 7:
  • Area Board For Migrants, Davenport - 1970-1974
  • Chicano Indian-American Cultural Center, University of Iowa - 1972-1978
  • Diocese of Davenport - 1972-1978
  • Girl Scouts, Muscatine - 1971-1977
  • Human Rights Commission, Muscatine - 1978-1979
  • La Raza Unida - 1971-1976
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, Des Moines - 1972-1978
  • Soccer, Muscatine - 1980
  • Soccer, Muscatine - 1993
  • Spanish Speaking Peoples Commission - 1975-1980
  • Spanish Speaking Peoples Commission - 1974-1980
  • Series 7: ORGANIZATIONS: OTHER STATES
  • Box 8:
  • Division for the Spanish Speaking, Midwest region - 1970-1973
  • Illinois, general - 1969-1979
  • Illinois Migrant Council (folder 1) - 1973-1974
  • Illinois Migrant Council (folder 2) - 1974
  • Illinois Migrant Council (folder 3) - 1974
  • Illinois Migrant Council (folder 4) - 1974-1977
  • Indiana: Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend - 1971
  • Michigan: Archdiocese of Detroit, undated
  • Michigan: Diocese of Saginaw - 1971-1974
  • Michigan: Poverty People's Alliance - 1970-1972
  • Michigan: La Raza Unida, Saginaw - 1971
  • La Raza Unida publications - 1970-1972
  • Box 9:
  • Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin - 1973-1981
  • "The Whitehouse Consultation with Farmworkers" - 1980
  • Series 8: NEWSLETTERS
  • Box 9:
  • Azteca Films, Inc. advertising - 1971
  • California - 1972-1976
  • Colorado - 1970-1972
  • Illinois - 1972-1975
  • Iowa - 1975-1978
  • "The Neighborhood Alliance, Council Bluffs
  • "Hard Times: The Workers' Newspaper," Davenport
  • "El Campesino," Muscatine
  • Iowa: Boletin del Domingo - 1980-1981
  • Michigan: Poverty People's Alliance, Vol. 1
  • Michigan: Sol De Atzlan - 1971-1974
  • Nebraska: Mexican American Commission Newsletter - 1978
  • New Mexico: El Grito Del Norte - 1972
  • New York: Migration Today - 1975-1976
  • Washington D. C: - 1970-1983
  • Box 10:
  • Texas (folder 1) - 1970-1980
  • Texas (folder 2) - 1970-1980
  • Washington D.C. - 1970, 1980, 1999
  • Wisconsin: Nuestra Gente - 1974
  • Series 9: WRITINGS AND REPORTS
  • Box 10:
  • General - 1964-1976
  • Howard Coan, "History of the Spanish Center," undated
  • "Los Chicanos," undated
  • "Civil Rights Digest" - 1971
  • "Iowa Civil Rights Commission Annual Report" - 1979
  • "Conoceme en Iowa: The Official Report of the Governor's spanish Speaking Task Force" - 1975-1976
  • "Money for Migrant Children," undated
  • "Improving Hispanic Unemployment Data: The Department of Labor's Continuing Obligation" - 1978
  • Box 11:
  • "Spanish Surnamed American College Graduates" - 1970
  • "Economic, Social and Demographic Characteristics of Spanish-American Wage Workers on U. S. Farms" - 1963
  • "What Students Perceive," ca. - 1970
  • Marilyn P. Davis, "Mexican Voices, American Dreams" - 1988
  • Cesar Chavez, "Organizing" - 1967
  • "Hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights" held in Denver, Colorado - 1976
  • "El Mexicano Enano: Un Mal de Nuestro Tiempo" - 1970
  • Series 10: SLIDES
  • Box 12:
  • Series 11: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 13:
  • Muscatine Migrant Committee sign
    4x3 foot sign [In Conservation].