Smith, Theresa

Anti-police brutality activist, Anaheim, CA


Multimedia

5627.1_T01_online.mp3

Transcript

Abstract

An oral history of Theresa Smith, a community activist against police brutality. The purpose of this interview is to gather information regarding women in grassroots, activist movements in Southern California. This interview is part of an oral history project for Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ History 493A Oral History course and the Women, Politics and Activism Project. Specifically, this interview deals with Theresa Smith’s upbringing in Upland and her mixed raced heritage; talks about challenges she faced in her childhood; describes work experience at unemployment agency; shares memories of her role models; talks about how cultural gender roles influenced her ideas about education and activism; compares life as a Latina in Upland, California, vs. Orange County; struggle with racism within her family; shares about her ex-husbands and children; talks about importance of community and knowing your neighbors; recalls how she heard her son, Caesar Cruz, was shot by in an officer-involved shooting with Anaheim, California, and how she found out he died; describes how family and friends reacted to his death; how she walked through the grieving process; comments on media coverage; describes her memories of events leading up to and including her son’s death; talks about her inaccuracies between official police reports and her understanding of what happened; comments on lawsuit Smith’s family filed against the Anaheim PD; compares how her view of police officers changed after Caesar’s death; defines community policing; shares why police should be held accountable for their actions; explains why she became an activist against police brutality after her son died; describes her relationship with other mothers of local officer-involved shootings; talks about founding the nonprofit LEAN (Law Enforcement Accountability); describes relationship between the community and Anaheim PD; recalls her involvement with Assembly Bill 953; comments on obstacles she’s faced in her activism and how she overcame them; shares what keeps her motivated as an activist; describes her leadership style; talks about how she reacts to people referring to her son as a gang member; explains her solution to police brutality; and finally, describes her community involvement including: Pico, OCCORD, Project Kinship, and organizing local event, Coming Together, in Anaheim.

Images

File Name 5627_P018.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1764196
Description> Theresa Smith at ACLU event, date unknown.
File Name 5627_P10.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 36206
Description> Theresa Smith and Tom Tait, Mayor of Anaheim, at Anaheim Cemetery, 2015.

Multimedia

5627.2_T01_online.mp3

Transcript

Metadata

Field Value
ID 64
Title An oral history with Theresa Smith
Date 2015-10-22
WPA ID WPA_063
OH ID OH 5627.2
Citation Theresa Smith interviewed by Analia Cabral, October 22, 2015, Placentia, California, Oral History #5627.2, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:13 UTC
Location Placentia, CA
Language English
Subjects Religion → Role of faith in activism
Activism → Social Justice
Activism → Advice on getting involved
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Women in Politics → importance of women's involvement

Abstract

A second session of the oral history with Theresa Smith, a community activist against police brutality. The purpose of this interview is to gather information regarding women in grassroots, activist movements in Southern California. This interview is part of an oral history project for Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ History 493A Oral History course and the Women, Politics and Activism Project. Specifically, this interview talks about her Smith’s faith has motived her activism; why it’s important for women to be activists; defines feminism and explains why she does not consider herself a feminist; and finally, shares what she is most proud of her as an activist and in her personal life.

Images

File Name 5627_P09.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 800670
Description> Theresa Smith and son, Cesar Cruz, on the beach, 2009.