From film screenings and folk art, to a forum on animal rights, UC San Diego’s 2017 César E. Chávez Celebration promises to uphold a vibrant tradition of activism, cultural heritage and social justice. The annual campus celebration, which takes place from March to May, commemorates the life and legacy of American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist César E. Chávez for his commitment to the rights of underserved community members through nonviolent activism.
“César E. Chávez fought tirelessly for social justice and equal rights, and he is an inspiration to us all,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our campus celebration is both an important tribute to his life and achievements, and a reflection of UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union is honored with a statewide holiday on March 31. The holiday, which takes place on Chávez’s birthday, was proclaimed as a federal commemorative holiday by President Barack Obama in 2014, to encourage Americans to continue Chávez’s legacy with community service and education.
UC San Diego’s celebration will include events focusing on Chicano culture, Mexican American civil rights, migrant and diaspora communities, film and art as activism, global struggles of resistance and more.
A sampling of events and details are below. For more information on the campus celebration, click here.
- César E. Chávez Celebration Kickoff Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, April 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Price Center Ballrooms: UC San Diego’s opening event features awards honoring individuals for furthering ideals in their communities including this year’s UC San Diego undergraduate essay contest winners. The luncheon will feature a keynote address by Juan Carlos Astorga, UC San Diego alumnus and dean of Student Engagement at Pierce College. Tickets are $15. Proceeds support UC San Diego MEChA’s Raza Graduation.
- Award-winning Filmmaker and Producer, Paul Espinosa – A Conversation about Filmmaking Focused on the U.S.-Mexico Border Region, April 10, 4 to 6 p.m., Marshall College Room, Price Center West: An award-winning filmmaker, producer and professor emeritus at Arizona State University, Paul Espinosa will discuss his career as a filmmaker focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region. He will present his latest feature-length documentary film about San Diego musician, composer and community activist, Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez.
- Fight in the Fields: Intersectional and Cross-cultural Struggle for Justice, April 12, 7 to 9 p.m., Angela’s Space in the Ocean View Building: A screening of “The Fight in the Fields: Chávez and the Farm Workers Movement” will be followed by discussions led by faculty and graduate students involved in ethnic studies, social injustice and activist work. Marshall College resident assistants and dean’s interns will facilitate a conversation with participants about the values and leaders of the United Farm Workers Union.
- 47th Annual Chicano Park Day Celebration, April 22, All Day, Chicano Park, Barrio Logan: UC San Diego community members are invited to join fellow San Diegans in experiencing traditional music, dance, food and arts and craft vendors in the historic Barrio Logan community at this event, which is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Ramón Chunky Sánchez: El Corazón Del Pueblo.” To learn more, click here.
- Afternoon of Artivism, April 27, 5 to 7 p.m., Middle Earth Lounge (located on the first floor of Earth Hall in Eleanor Roosevelt College): Part of a series hosted by The Raza Living and Learning Community, this event will explore the intersections between art and activism in historical and contemporary contexts, as well as the ways in which they pertain to the Chicano/a/s and Latino/a/s community on local, regional and national levels.
- Screening of “The Head of Joaquin Murrieta,” May 3, noon to 3 p.m. and May 4, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Raza Resource Centro: This two-day event will feature a talk and screening by director John Valdez, award-winning writer and director of 11 nationally broadcast documentary films for PBS and CNN. Valdez will speak about his films’ relevance to aspects of the Chicano movement including music, history and culture.