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UC San Diego’s César E. Chávez Events Celebrate Chicano Culture and Civil Rights


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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César E. Chávez featured on the Chicano Legacy 40 Años mosaic, located on the campus of UC San Diego.

César E. Chávez, civil rights advocate, labor leader and proponent of nonviolent activism, is the center of a series of celebratory events at the University of California, San Diego throughout the months of April and May. The events will include the performance of a one man show on Chávez, a presentation on the historic United Farm Workers (UFW) march to Sacramento in 1966, the celebration of the 44th anniversary of Chicano Park and more.

Chávez, the principal figure in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s and co-founder of the UFW, is recognized with a statewide holiday on his birthday, March 31, which is observed at UC San Diego annually.

“César E. Chávez is an inspiration to us all,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “In the same spirit of Chávez’s core values, UC San Diego is working to give students from all backgrounds increased access to higher education by investing more in scholarships, expanding outreach programs and strengthening alliances with educational partners in our community.”

The kick-off to the UC San Diego César E. Chávez events is on April 1 and will feature a talk from Roberto Rodriguez, who is a professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona and an award-winning journalist and columnist. Rodriguez has been a key figure in recent movements in Arizona to protect Mexican American Studies and undocumented workers, and to halt racial profiling.

The co-chair of the campus’s César E. Chávez celebration planning committee and UC San Diego professor of literature, Jorge Mariscal says this year’s celebration is especially relevant as the U.S. continues to face a stalemate on immigration reform and working-class students find it difficult to graduate from elite colleges.

“With high levels of deportations of Spanish-speaking people and severe economic difficulties facing all working families, the message of the farmworkers’ movement is timelier now more than ever,” Mariscal said. “And as a university, we have the responsibility to ensure our campus community reflects all of California’s diverse population.”

A sampling of UC San Diego’s César E. Chávez events and details are below. For more information on the campus’s celebration, click here.

Attendees at the 2013 César E. Chávez kickoff lunch celebration. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

UC San Diego’s 2014 César E. Chávez Celebration Kickoff!

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 1

UC San Diego’s opening event includes awards honoring individuals for furthering Chávez’s ideals in their communities. This year’s event features Roberto Rodriguez, professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. Rodriguez will provide updates on the state of civil rights in Arizona. Tickets to the luncheon are $10 ($5 for UC San Diego students). All proceeds will benefit MEChA’s Raza Graduation. UC San Diego Price Center East Ballroom. To order tickets, contact or (858) 534-6862.

Unveiling of UC San Diego Farmworkers’ Documentation Archive and the 1966 March to Sacramento

4 to 6 p.m., April 16

The UC San Diego Library will announce the purchase of the Farmworkers’ Movement online archive, containing thousands of documents related to the history of the UFW and related events. A short video on the farmworkers’ union (NFWA/UFW) historic march to Sacramento in 1966 will be shown, followed by a discussion with two key participants in the march: Roberto Bustos, who was named march captain by Chávez, and LeRoy Chatfield, a key Chávez advisor in the first decade of the union. The Seuss Room, Geisel Library main floor. For more information, contact

Coalition and Contention: Pachucos, Manongs and Compadres

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 2

UC San Diego’s Cross-Cultural Center and the Raza Resource Centro present an overview of labor organizing in California, gendered class conflicts involving Pilipinos and Mexicans of the zoot suit era, and the farmworkers movement and interethnic relations of in the 20th century. Cross-Cultural Center. For more information, contact

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