What is a Foco?

The term Foco comes from Regis Debray, a radical writer on the topic of Latin American revolutions. This ideology subscribed to the notion that in revolutionary transformation, one had to be in the intellectual realm—developing an understanding of the world profoundly—theory and also in the practical world. For NACCS, Foco meant not just being an intellectual or not just being a community activist, but rather both. Foco later came to represent a regional chapter whereupon our membership continued the work of NACCS beyond our annual meetings.

NACCS has 9 chapters. What follows below is the description of a Foco and along with functions of a Foco in NACCS. This description comes from our Bylaws.

In keeping with the grassroots origins of the Association the basic operating unit of the Association shall be at the regional level. These units shall be designated Focos. Focos are geographically delimited chapters determined by the existence of Chicana and Chicano Studies programs, historical significance of geographical areas to Chicana and Chicano communities, and concentration of Chicanas and Chicanos. Focos are sources of initiative in the Association. The internal structure and activities of the Focos is determined by the membership in keeping with the general mission and direction of the Association as expressed in the Bylaws. [See Art. XII for guidelines on resolution procedures.]

Section 1: Foco Chapters
The Association shall be represented in the following regions:
1. Northern California (Fresno and north)
2. Southern California (Santa Barbara and south)
3. Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah)
4. Colorado (includes Montana and Wyoming)
5. Tejas
6. Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington)
7. Mexico
8. Midwest (includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
9. East Coast
Section 2: Members
Members of the Foco must reside within the designated area, be paid members of the Association, and subscribe generally to the mission of the Association.

Section 3: Election of Foco Representatives
The Foco shall elect a Representative that serves as the principal officer for the region for a two-year term. The Representative is elected during the annual meetings. The candidate for Foco Representative must be an active member of the Foco and a member of the Association. In cases where a duly elected Representative is unable or unwilling to serve the Foco shall conduct a new election, or the National Chair, in consultation with Foco members may appoint an interim Representative until a permanent Representative is elected by the Foco membership.

Section 4: Foco Representatives' Terms and Duties
Each Foco shall elect one Representative for a two-year term, beginning and ending at the annual meetings. The Foco Representative must be familiar with the operations of the Association and its Bylaws. Each Foco Representative is responsible for the following: organizing and presiding over all Foco activities and affairs, encouraging new and renewed membership, overseeing all communications with Foco members, maintaining regular communication with the National Chair and other members of the NACCS Board regarding the activities and needs of the Foco, organizing and presiding over the Foco business meetings, compiling and submitting resolutions within the timeframe to the designated officers [refer to Art. XII], compiling written reports of regional activities for the Association's newsletter, promoting the general welfare of the Association, and undertaking any duties assigned by the NACCS Board or Chair.

Section 5: Representatives for NACCS Committees
During the annual conference, the Foco must also provide the Board with a list of names of individuals from their Foco to participate on various committees as listed in Art. IX. The Foco Representatives will present the list to NACCS Board or the NACCS Chair, which will then choose to appoint recommended members to committees as needed.