A group of Chicanas met at the University of California, Davis in the Spring of 1982 to form an organization that could address the academic isolation, movement marginalization and community disempowerment Chicanas experienced.
Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) was formed and organized around the idea of unifying academic life with community activism. Among its first chairs were Alma García and Adaljiza Sosa Riddell.
MALCS hosts a summer research institute in addition to publishing a newsletter. MALCS has developed a permanent research center and its papers are housed at the UCLA Chicana/o Studies Research Center.