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Dossier: Lupé Briseño, a legacy of "Giving a Voice to the Voiceless"

Updated: May 28

Sleuthing Brighton Colorado, with a full Investigative Report by the Brighton History Detective® (aka Robin Kring)

Case Number: 00016, Identify Mural Subject

Mural Location: “Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza” by Hans Joseph Geist

Subject Identified: Guadalupe “Lupé" Briseño, Chicano Civil Rights Leader

Guadalupe “Lupé” Briseño (b.1933), Chicano Civil Rights Leader, is known for giving a voice to the voiceless. Briseño, a Brighton resident, was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame (CWHF) in 2020, in the category of Activism & Advocacy. CWHF describes her story as “an essential chapter in the history of Colorado, the evolution of Latina feminist leadership, and the struggle for Chicano civil rights.” Briseño is known for leading a 1969 labor strike at a Weld County carnation greenhouse, asking for better working conditions, higher wages, and humane treatment. The CWHF has reported Briseño “demonstrated the strength and power of Latina leadership in Colorado’s Labor Movement and set the stage for the Colorado Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 70s,” giving credit to the event as “laying the foundation for the Chicano Movement in Colorado.”

Briseño’s humanitarian work in the community has included bringing others together to help women residing in a local nursing home and organizing an effort to help a hometown school remain open. Briseño noticed patients in a nursing home, where she was later an employee, were only wearing hospital gowns. Concerned with “giving them their dignity,” she organized an effort to clothe them in pajamas. Briseño collected donations for the purchase of material and asked one of her friends, who knew how to sew, to volunteer and make each of them pajamas.

Another time Briseño reached out to help her community involved her successful efforts to help Brighton’s North Elementary School to remain open, after school board plans were made to close the school. Briseño wanted to ensure the neighborhood would not have to bus their children elsewhere.

Contributions by: CWHF; Lupe’s niece, Amelia Briseño Deleon; and Elena Townsend

Discover More About the Artist and the Detective

Learn more about the Artist, Hans Joseph Geist, behind the Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza mural, in the Brighton History Detective® dossier, The Case of the New Mural and its Artist (Hans Joseph Geist). See more of Hans art at: Art by Hans Geist on Facebook.

Find more Investigative Case Reports, by Brighton History Detective®, each revealing the identity of one of the 20 intriguing Brighton characters and places, painted on the mural. Investigate the sleuthing and writing stories of yesteryear, mystery, and intrigue on the Clear Creek Publishing Authors Blog site, including: New Fiction, Victoriana, Event Planning Extraordinaire, Colorado History, and Cemetery Chats.

The Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza mural is located on the southwest corner of Main St. and Bridge St., in Brighton, Colorado. The mural is a project of the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission, whose mission is to increase arts and culture awareness and promote cultural and scientific opportunities in our community. It has been made possible with funding from the SCFD and Brighton Lodging Tax Grants.

®Brighton History Detective is a registered trademark of Clear Creek Publishing.

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