Ruiz was also a photographer and editor for La Raza newspaper and magazine, and his photos are included in an acclaimed exhibition at the Autry Museum. The LA RAZA exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, which examines Latino and Latin American culture and art at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California.
In a recent interview, Ruiz recalled that key organizers of the walkouts included Cal State LA students and alumni.
One of the leaders of the walkouts was Cal State LA alumnus Sal Castro, who was a social studies teacher at Lincoln High School when students launched their protests. Students at Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Garfield and Belmont high schools participated in the initial wave of walkouts in early March in 1968.
Castro helped the students craft their demands for reforms, which included bilingual and bicultural education, curriculum that acknowledged the many contributions of Mexican Americans, more Mexican American administrators and upgraded library and classroom facilities.
“I was just doing my job,” Castro said in a 2010 interview with Cal State LA’s alumni magazine, noting that “change is through education.” Castro died in 2013. An LAUSD middle school on the Belmont High campus was named in his honor