Excerpt of Dr. Alberto Álvaro Ríos’s Plenary Address at the 2006 AASLH Annual Meeting in which Ríos reflects on his childhood in the West and how that has influenced him today as a historian and an educator.

Events in his past such as growing up bilingual, saving a piece of a semi-truck explosion and leading a group of school children who taught him what it means to be Indian all were influences on how he views the education and history field.

Ríos says that to him, the AASLH Annual Meeting theme History’s Enduring Voices focuses particular attention on diversity and demographic change.

He finishes with five challenges for readers/attendees which he believes are about hope in how we teach and think about the lives of other people:

  1. Diversity
  2. Invisible populations
  3. Economics
  4. Dialogue
  5. Languages