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Utah Democrats Saddened by the Loss of Civil Rights Icon Robert “Archie” Archuleta

January 26, 2019

Media Statement

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2019

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(385) 228-5483 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Jon Hennington
Utah Senate Democratic Caucus
801-214-4611 | jhennington@le.utah.gov

Utah Democrats Saddened by the Loss of Civil Rights Icon Robert “Archie” Archuleta

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah House and Senate Democrats are saddened by the passing of longtime civil rights leader and educator Robert “Archie” Archuleta, who was 88. Archuleta was a kindhearted and passionate advocate for many in our community whose voices have been marginalized. He was an outspoken leader for hardworking Utahns, and he helped many to understand and appreciate Chicana/o history. As a dedicated community servant, Archie embraced many roles as an educator, mentor, and champion for civil liberties and peace. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family. We will miss him dearly.

“Archie was the voice for the Utah Latino community,” said Rep. Angela Romero. “We are who we are today because of him. We hope to honor his legacy by continuing to advocate on behalf of marginalized communities.”

“Utah’s Latino community has lost a titan, a champion and advocate for so many issues and causes,” said Richard Jaramillo, current president of Utah Coalition of La Raza. “Archie helped shape the Latino community, the nature of local activism, and made so many personal connections across the state that his impact has been truly profound.”


Robert “Archie” Archuleta was a graduate of Idaho State College and a post graduate of the University of Utah. He taught school in the Salt Lake School District in 1953 in the old McGillis School on 1300 East. He eventually was the Principal of an alternative school for young people who were pushed out of Salt Lake School. He planted the seeds for what is now the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center. He retired from the Salt Lake City School District. Later, he was hired by Mayor Rocky Anderson as the minority affairs director. He retired from this position in 2004. He is survived by his wife Lois and their five children—Jason Roberto, Florencia Lucienne, Keith Emiliano, Micaela Lisette, Letitia P.—and six grandchildren.

Archie was an activist and advocate in minority, poverty, peace, economic, civil rights, civil liberties and cultural issues. He served as a member of several boards and committees. But, it was the Utah Coalition of La Raza where he put most of his energy. Archie was the President of Utah Coalition of La Raza for 9 years as he mentored and grew the next generation of community advocates. He worked tirelessly to hold higher education institutions, criminal justice institutions and k-12 education institutions accountable for meeting the needs of Latino/a and all “minority” students. He was a member of many ethnic, political, advocacy, educational, peace, civil rights, civil liberties, poverty and labor groups and boards. He was President of the Board of the Utah Coalition of La Raza, member of the board and ex-Chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Caucus as well as a member of the following boards: Centro Civico Mexicano, Center for Documentary Arts, Concerned Citizens Committee, Alliance for Unity, Utah Aging Commission and the Enriching Utah Coalition.

Archie received numerous awards, including the Quixote Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Cualli Ohtli Award from the Mexican Consulate, the Cesar Chavez Education award from UCLR, the Charles E. Bennett Humanitarian and Civil Rights Award from the Utah Education Association, and The Chicano Scholarship Fund honored him for civic and humanitarian achievement at the University of Utah. He is an icon of social justice in Utah.

Please contact Rep. Angela Romero with questions or inquiries for his family.

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