Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cesar Chavez Event in Española

The Cesar Chavez Day Celebration in Española went very well. We held the event on the campus of Northern New Mexico college in Española, in the cafeteria, which allowed to reach many people who may not otherwise attend the event.

We had presentations by: Dr. Jose Griego, President of the college, did a brief welcome and spoke for a few minutes about Cesar's legacy and informed everyone that Northern is one of the few institutions in the country that is fully unionized.

Lang-time community activist Santiago Juarez, presented on keeping Cesar's legacy alive, and about his experience organizing with the UFW in the 1970's. And raising our expectations for ourselves and communities.

John Chavez, Santa Cruz Land Grant and New Mexico Lang Grant Council, spoke about the land rights movement in NM, and some of the legislation the Land Grant Council has helped get passed.

Long-time community organizer and activist Clarissa Duran presented about the life and legacy of Dolores Huerta, and carrying on her mission for justice, including her commitment for voter registration. and read poetry.

Dr. Hilario Romero, director of Equal Opportunity Office at Northern an past State Historian and Archivist, spoke about the importance of learning our history and passing it on to future generations. He also spoke of time he spent with Cesar during his final visit to Santa Fe before he died.

One of the founding members of Northern's Chicano Student Club and Hermano Angelo Sandoval presented about Cesar's life, achievement and vision for non-violence and a more just and fair society.

Maurice Segovia, Northern Staff presented about the Dream Act, educational opportunities for undocumented population and about the Union movement in Florida and the history of the boycott against Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

Tessa Cordova performed music and spoke about the racist actions in Taos and the boycott against the Taos News (newspaper).Enrique "Syk Ryk" Martinez, front man of Gloryhorde Orchestra, and long-time event organizer and Poet from Española, performed poetry.Northern Student and poet Beat Tsosie-Pena performed poetry.

Northern graduate and community organizer Solisa Zamora performed poetry.Ortiz Middle School teacher Loretta Trujillo performed music and shared her poetry.

I spoke a little about La Raza Unida and passed out information sheets about the Party. We also collected signatures for the petition to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a federal holiday, and passed out information on immigration issues.

We had a good turnout, a good mix of community members, Northern students, faculty and staff. Even Chef Ron, the school's main chef shared a Juaquin Murrieta quote for the students. A lot of positive and cooperative energy and support.

Reported by Adan

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