By Kimberly Martinez
For Juliana Garcia, a Riverside City College student, the Cesar Chavez Day celebration hit home.
“My great grandpa stood by Cesar’s side when they were walking. It’s important to be grateful of where our produce comes from,” Garcia said.
RCC’s Diversity Committee and La Casa kicked off the three day event March 28-30 in honor of Cesar Chavez. The event started with the showing of the movie, “Cesar Chavez,” in the Digital Library.
“This is something we should all learn,” Cecilia Alvarado, dean of student services, said. “It’s important to recognize people who make a difference. It’s a person, a hero we have to remember, like Martin Luther King Jr., what he did for his people. Same thing with Chavez. It’s something our new generation needs to remember. We have somebody who went out and did something for our community, a social justice hero.”
The film portrays Chavez’s struggle as a field worker who fought for the rights of other field workers and eventually became a leader. Known for being a labor leader, Chavez has become a civil rights leader today.
Benjamin Vargas, education advisor of La Casa, commented on plans for the next Cesar Chavez Day.
“We plan on making the event bigger next year,” Vargas said.
On March 30 the “From Fields to Faculty” discussion took place. The event included RCC faculty members Clarence Romero, associate professor of psychology and Ernesto Reyes, associate professor of mathematics, who spoke on their time as field workers.
Jose Diaz, director of Upward Bound, helped facilitate the discussion.
“It was great to hear their testimonials, their life stories, their background of how they made it. They are great role models for our students, for our people to say, ‘This is where I came from and look where I am today. Teaching you, giving you an education, helping you, motivating you,’” Diaz said.