South Phoenix is a sacred place, with little academic attention afforded to its history. Long before farmers and miners made Phoenix their home, the Hohokam carved irrigation ditches at the base of South Mountain. Centuries later, newcomers to the area siphoned off the Salt River area by using the ancient canal system. Over the course of the young city’s history, South Phoenix was left behind. Economic and cultural disparities between the north and south sections of the city are evident in the historical record. Few academic records exist detailing the community’s role in the evolution of Phoenix, or its traditionally under-served population of Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents.
Likewise, no formal institutional archive documents the history of South Mountain Community College, a 40-year-old campus that serves the traditionally impoverished and minority community of South Phoenix. In 2017, faculty sought to correct this wrong. Using the SMCC 40th Anniversary milestone as a catalyst, researchers conducted hours of interviews with founding faculty and staff, significant politicians and community members, and former students, who spoke to the importance of SMCC and South Phoenix.
Interested in being interviewed? Please contact us!