Chicana/Latina women were an integral part of the activities collectively recognized as the Chicano Movimiento, most active and visible from 1964 to 1975. By the early 1980s their contributions were barely acknowledged. Sensing this collective loss of voice, feeling highly isolated, eager to extend their knowledge to other women, and desiring to change society’s perceptions, a group of Chicana/Latina academic women gathered at the University of California, Davis, in spring 1982. Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) was established at this first meeting. The MALCS declaration, written one year later at the Berkeley campus, formally established the organization and affirmed the membership’s dedication to the unification of their academic life with their community activism.
MALCS hosts a summer research institute (established in 1986), publishes a newsletter and Trabajos Monograficos (a working paper series changed in 1991 to the Series in Chicana Studies). The series is in its second volume and soon to become the Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies. MALCS members also helped establish a permanent research center at the University of California, Davis, in March 1991, to develop Chicanas/Latinas as scholars. It was to be a center for knowledge by, for, and about Chicanas/Latinas. MALCS is an academic organization that articulates Chicana/Latina feminist perspectives.
Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History, 1998