Mexican-American activist, journalist to be memorialized on commemorative quarter

UTSA to honor Jovita Idar with ceremonial quarter release

Jovita Idar's legacy will soon be memorialized on a commemorative coin. (Courtesy: General Photograph Collection – UTSA Special Collections)

SAN ANTONIO – A Mexican-American activist and journalist whose ideas and practices were far ahead of her time will soon be memorialized on a commemorative quarter.

Jovita Idar based her activism on education, women’s rights and civil rights for Mexican Americans.

Born on Sept. 7, 1885, in Laredo, Idar was exposed to politics and journalism from an early age. Her parents worked in the newspaper industry and civil rights advocacy.

Idar joined the First Mexicanist Congress in Laredo in 1911. Later, she and other women formed the League of Mexican Women. The group served to empower Mexican-American women. Idar served as the group’s first president.

Idar would later move to San Antonio in 1921 to continue her advocacy.

She died in San Antonio on June 15, 1946.

Idar’s commemorative quarter is the ninth American Women Quarters Program coin. Idar’s coin will join the likes of other notable women such as Maya Angelou, Sally Ride and Anna May Wong.

Jovita Idar's quarter will be the ninth coin in the program. (American Women Quarters Program)

On September 14, UTSA will host a ceremonial quarter release to honor Idar’s legacy.

“Jovita Idar was a journalist, a teacher and a vocal advocate who helped lead the modern Mexican-American civil rights movement and encouraged women to become politically active,” said Teresa Niño, UTSA vice president for university relations.

The celebration will feature two events that are free to the public at UTSA’s downtown campus.

Roundtable: The Historical Significance, Public Impact, and Legacy of Jovita Idar

The panel discussion will discuss Idar’s life and legacy with representatives from the U.S. Mint, the National Women’s History Museum and members of Idar’s family.

The panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Buena Vista Street Building’s Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328).

Jovita Idar Quarter Release Celebration

To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, this event will honor Idar’s impact by releasing her commemorative quarter. A ceremonial “coin pour” will mark the occasion.

Emmy and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa will deliver a keynote address.

The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326). Seating for this event is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Livestreams of both events are available here.

For more information about UTSA’s Hispanic Heritage Month calendar, click here.

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About the Author:

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.