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Mimi Lozano

Content Creator

Nohemi "Mimi" Lozano  is an American educator and activist for Hispanic rights. She co-founded the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research,and was the editor and publisher of Somos Primos, dedicated to Hispanic Heritage, published as a newsletter for ten years, and then for twenty years as a monthly online magazine, 2000-2020..

Mimi was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1933, the second daughter of parents Catalino Lozano and Aurora Chapa. When she was an infant, her family moved to Los Angeles, California   After numerous moves, the family purchased a house in East Los Angeles, in the Boyle Heights area where she received her primary education.  She was involved in debating, theater arts, singing and served in student government in many leadership positions.  Most free time was spent at the Wabash Playground. 

In 1948, after their parents divorced, Mimi and her older sister Tania  moved from Los Angeles to central California, Manteca. It was in high school that her political activism was first strongly expressed.  She refused to sign the school's registration form, because it questioned her citizenship. "I was born in Texas. Texas is in the United States.  Therefore I am an American.  If you want to know my ethnic background.  It is Mexican,"  she said to the Vice Principal as she crossed out Nationality and wrote Ethnicity.  The following year, students were required to fill out a new district form, which differentiated between the two.  In her Junior Year, Mimi won the school's American Legion Essay contest.  Her title, "I Speak for America".  She continued holding leadership roles, was a Yell leader, performed in the community theater, and sang solos.

In 1951, Mimi graduated with a scholastic scholarship to attend the University of California, UCLA.  Her major, Public and Recreation Administration. During her undergraduate studies at UCLA, she held many youth related positions.: Camp counselor, Arts and Crafts director, Swim instructor,   During the summer, Mimi was a Playground Director in the city of Stockton, in a Mexican area. As an interviewer of Los Angeles Playground Directors for a study by the L.A. CountySocial Services,  She began to realize that the Mexican culture was not not well understood.

In 1955, earned her Bachelor of Science degree. That same year she met and married Win Holtzman whom she met while attending the UCLA summer graduate summer school.

In 1957, Mimi earned her Master of Public and Recreation Administration Degree  with a specialization in Drama.  In addition to singing and dancing, Mimi developed puppetry skills as an intern at the Los Angeles Recreation Department's Shatto Drama Center.  Marriage and children occupied the next 15 years, but allowed opportunities to perform with several Light Opera companies. She  also organized a troupe of dancing mothers, Dancers of Truth, who performed for city functions in Manhattan Beach and for churches and clubs.

In 1970, Mimi  earned her K-12 Teaching Credential from the University of California State, Dominguez College. She was given the opportunity of developing a class offered as a elective, specifically on Puppetry as an integrated art form.  It was very popular with students and teachers.

In 1975  Mimi received a Credentials from the State to teach at a California State Community College. She was hired in as a Theater Arts teacher in 1975 and taught at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California until 1981. where she completed 3 media related Golden West College grants. .She had an opportunity of using her position as instructor of Puppetry at Golden West College to help educate the community to the broader Hispanic culture. Using puppetry as the media, she produced/directed/mounted Hispanic folktales puppet plays, which were performed by her students in the little theater at Golden West College, schools and libraries.

In 1981, Mimi earned her California State  ESL/Bilingual Teaching Certificate and Competence in Spanish and was hired by the Huntington Beach Unified School District, K-12 as an Oral Language Bilingual Resource Specialist.  She was asked to apply puppetry and dramatic activities to enhance second language skills, specifically among the newly arrived Vietnamese, Hmong, and Laotian.  Clearly, the methodology and philosophy was adaptable to any second language learner. 

A second major project with the Huntington Beach Unified School was the VITAL project: Video Involved Television for Aural/Oral Learning.  The goal was to develop skills and materials to make use of  the new technology of a Video Cassette Recorder, not for entertainment, but rather as a teaching tool.  Mimi became an invited speaker, locally and nationally on the subject of Bilingual education and speeding up language acquisition with dramatic activities.

Also In 1981, Mimi, a member of the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was called to serve in Public Affairs.  Public Affairs is community outreach.  Public Affairs Meetings  in our area were held at Family History Center.  Mimi noticed that a Raul Guerra had ordered many films in  the area of her ancestral roots at the Bolsa Family History Center..   She quickly contacted Raul and found they were distant cousins.  Raul drove them to a Hispanic Family History Conference in Riverside, where they met Ophelia Marquez and Tony Campos who were also from Orange County. 

We four decided to start a study group in Orange County.  Ophelia, Tony, and Raul were all skilled researchers, and all Catholics.  It was decided therefore that Mimi would make any  needed arrangements with the LDS Church to set up a study group.  Friday afternoons the Bolsa Family History Center was not regularly opened.  It became the meeting for the Hispanic study group.  The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, SHHAR (pronounced SHARE)  held weekly sessions, plus monthly special lecturers, and bi-annual conferences.   Mimi and Ophelia were the weekly hostesses.  Tony and Raul our key lecturers during monthly meetings and bi-annual conferences. 

The interest and need was there and SHHAR  grew..  Flyers of upcoming meetings were distributed at schools and libraries, stores and restaurants. The Family History Center also mailed out notifications for the study group of special meetings and events. 

In 1984, Raul Guerra was the first President, Ophelia Marquez was the secretary/treasurer. Tony Campos was on the Board.  Mimi served as the editor and publisher of flyers and notifications.  After SHHAR received its Non-Profit status and became a dues collecting organization, Somos Primos  was prepared as an 18-page quarterly publication for members.

In 1995, a database was developed with the assistance of her husband Win Holtzman for networking purposes for Somos Primos. This service in turn helped the increasing number of out of state and out of the country readers and researchers to communicate with each other.

In 1995, Mimi was involved with a Heritage Subcommittee which formed the nucleus of the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Orange County. The subcommittee's activity attempted to promote more awareness of Hispanic history and culture. In 1999, Board Mimi became a member off the Pepperdine University's Hispanic Council of Orange County.

1997- 2003 Mimi Lozano was named to the US Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affair, also spoke as an invited guest by the U.S. Army at the Pentagon during the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Between 1998 - 2001 Mimi was in charge of the SHHAR booth at the Orange County Fair.  The booth  won first place ribbons in Education and Quality and took  ribbons during each of the four years in which SHHAR participated.. 

2000- 2020   Somos Primos Went online 240 monthly issues are archived and available online, free download.

In 2006, Mimi Lozano, was named California's 68th Assembly District's 2006 Woman oft he Year by Assemblyman Van Tran. The annual Woman of the Year celebration at the State Capitol was founded by Assembly members Bev Hansen (R) and Sally Turner (D) in 1987 in honor of Women's History Month and is sponsored by the California Legislative Women's Caucus.  Mimi is credited with pressing the Archives and other federal agencies to acknowledge publicly the significant contributions of Hispanics nationwide.

She is quoted in Weekly Report:

"There are too many such stories long ignored, but there's still time

to add them to the nation's historical record for future generations

to integrate our historical contributions into the history and

development of the U.S. We have been viewed as separate and apart,

when in fact we provided a foundation. These events will reveal that

truth of our continual presence and support. "


Preston & Ashley (Mendez)

Tech Advisors

Since joining Somos Primos Unidos, Preston and Ashley (Mimi's eldest great-grandson and granddaughter) have played crucial roles in the continued success of the website. Admiring Mimi's exceptional skill set, true passion and creativity has inspired Preston and Ashley to join the movement. Mimi's devotion to family history and genealogy has opened Ashley and Preston's eyes to a whole new world and are excited to spread knowledge and love to the community. 

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