About Bobby Lee Verdugo
Activista de los Derechos Civiles
This center is dedicated to Bobby Lee Verdugo in honor of his tireless dedication and advocacy for educational attainment for Latino students. As a mentor, he continues to inspire new generations of students to pursue their educational goals.
We are grateful for his mentorship at the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp and for his support of Latino students and educators at Eastern Kentucky University.
Bobby Lee Verdugo is a Chicano civil rights activist from Lincoln Heights, California.
Mr. Verdugo grew up in East Los Angeles in the 1960’s, a time period where Latinos and Chicanos were not encouraged to continue their education and were often discriminated against. He was a leader of the historic 1968 high school walkouts of East Los Angeles, a student-led effort to bring education reform to the disenfranchised schools on the Eastside. In addition to educational and policy improvements, the walkouts brought about a remarkable increase in Chicano enrollment at UCLA, from only 40 students in 1967, to 1,200 students in 1969.
Mr. Verdugo was portrayed in the HBO docudrama “Walkout” about these events. He is also featured in the critically acclaimed PBS documentary “CHICANO –The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.”
Mr. Verdugo is Senior Education/La EducaciónSpecialist with the National Compadres Network, where he encourages and supports the positive involvement of Latino males as fathers, sons, grandfathers, brothers, compadres, partners, and mentors in their families and community. After 1968, he continued to advocate on behalf of the Latino community nationwide.
Often traveling to Kentucky, Mr. Verdugo mentors and inspires students in the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp, a camp sponsored with a partnership between Bluegrass Community and Technical College and EKU that helps young Latino high school students transition to college and learn about the diversity of Latino heritage. Mr. Verdugo encourages students to continue their education and advocacy by sharing the message that the work of his generation lives on in them.