Jun 21, 2022 - News

Salt Lake City bridge named after two civil rights leaders

Salt Lake City bridge.
The “Archie and Lois Archuleta Bridge” in Salt Lake City. Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios

A pedestrian bridge on Salt Lake City's west side was named after local civil rights leaders Robert "Archie" and Lois Archuleta on Friday.

  • They are being honored for their decades of community activism and help to shape the next generation of Latino leaders.
  • The 1,200-foot-long bridge named the "Archie and Lois Archuleta Bridge" runs along the Jordan River from 200 South to North Temple.
  • State and local leaders and members of the Archuleta family attended the bridge dedication ceremony.

Why it matters: Archie was known as a fierce advocate for Latino and immigrant rights in Salt Lake City before his death in 2019.

  • He and his widow Lois, also a community activist, worked together on social justice and equity issues in education. They were married for 60 years and have five children.

Background: From 1953 to 1987, Archie worked as a teacher for the Salt Lake City School District and helped establish what is now the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, according to a University of Utah biography.

  • He worked as the administrative assistant for minority affairs as part of former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson’s administration.
  • Archie also served as president of the Latino civil rights organization, Utah Coalition of La Raza, for nearly a decade and was a part of a number of other local nonprofit organizations and boards.

What they're saying: "Their impact has been astounding. You can't talk about the west side without talking about the Archuletas," Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said.

  • "For more than 60 years, they worked and fought to give more people opportunities, particularly with the Latino-Chicano community," Mendenhall said.
  • She also praised their commitment to education and social justice, as well as their work to help people experiencing homelessness.

State Rep. Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) said she met Archie when she was a teenager attending the University of Utah.

  • "The Archuletas welcomed me into their family and into their home," Romero said tearfully. "They guided me, they mentored me."

What's next: A sign with the bridge's new name will soon be installed and include information about the Archuleta's accomplishments in English and Spanish.

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