Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez, PhD

Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a historian who conducts research on civil rights, social justice movements, and electoral politics. He is a lecturer at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford (CCSRE). In addition to his work at Stanford, Ornelas Rodriguez works with the San Jose Unified School District developing the ethnic studies curriculum and teaching courses in the social sciences. Dr. Ornelas Rodriguez has led seminars for high school students on international security with SPICE. 

He previously worked in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford conducting research and led projects procuring archival research collections surrounding literature, ethnic history, civil rights history, and social justice history. His projects included the Bob Fitch Photography Archive; the David Bacon Photography Archive at Stanford: Work & Social Justice; the Dr. Marion Moses Papers; the Richard Rodriguez Papers; the Frank Bardacke Papers; and many other collections available for research at Stanford. 

At Stanford he founded the Bracero Legacy Project, a public history and educational outreach venture that incorporates archival material from the Ernesto Galarza Collection and oral history interviews Ornelas Rodriguez conducted with former braceros. On September 14, 2013, Ornelas Rodriguez was recognized by the California Assembly for his work as an organizer of the Bracero Memorial Highway Project.

From 2018 to 2020 he was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focused on California history, and in particular, Chicano history and Chicano/Latino studies and Latino politics. Much of his work has focused on archival research that documents Mexican and Mexican American history. The history of Mexican labor in the United States necessarily includes the study of civil and voting rights and the generations of Mexicans who advocated for those rights. In 2022 he was recognized by UC Berkeley’s Latinx Research Center for his invaluable work in obtaining historic funding that will enable the Latinx Research Center to grow and continue to provide research opportunities to the Latino community at UC Berkeley. 

In 2023 Ornelas Rodriguez was acknowledged by California Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas and State Senator Anna Caballero for his leadership championing the rich heritage and history of California and expanding awareness through public history programs that recognize agricultural workers. 

Dr. Ornelas Rodriguez currently serves on the board of directors of the California Institute for Rural Studies. He received his Master’s in Education from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Ornelas Rodriguez can be reached for speaking engagements and to collaborate at iornelas [at] stanford.edu (iornelas[at]stanford[dot]edu).


616 Jane Stanford Way Encina Hall, E005 Stanford, CA 94305-6060

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