Albert Gurule, MSW ’68

As a child, Albert “Al” Gurule (MSW ’68) experienced discrimination because he spoke Spanish and came from poverty. At the age of nine, he worked ten-hour days in the potato fields. Both of these experiences, Gurule says, groomed him to become a social worker and political activist. One of his first efforts to correct social injustice occurred soon after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. With classmate Stan Marean (MSW ’68), Gurule picketed Colorado’s State Capitol demanding that a special legislative session be called to address civil rights issues. At a later demonstration, they were joined by 87 other GSSW students. Gurule’s activism had its perils; he was jailed on two occasions, once when he was running for Governor under La Raza Unida Party, the first Hispanic in Colorado’s history to do so. Gurule later served on the Pueblo City Council and was its President for a year.