April 30, 2009 Your Monthly Source of Community Service-Learning News VOL.6, NO. 7

Cesar Chavez Day 2009

Cal State LA students, Yasmin Ayala, an Americorps member, and Selina De Leon, an EPIC volunteer  read to children at the Women, Infants and Children site in East Los Angeles,CSU Stanislaus' ninth annual Cesar Chavez poetry and poster contest.San Jose State Unviersity and members of the community worked to beautify Lowell Elementary.

Throughout the state, CSU campuses celebrated Cesar Chavez Day through a variety of events recognizing the life and work of the Central Valley leader who pushed for social change.

  • The Centers for Community Engagement and Multicultural Engagement and the Chicana/Chicano Studies and History program at CSU Channel Islands presented Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning.  A variety of events were planned across two days, such as an art workshop with Chicano artist Daniel DeSiga and the unveiling of the Cesar Chavez Foundation traveling exhibit - "The Peregrinación: Walking Into History.” Complete listing of the two-day event.
  • San José State University’s Cesar Chavez Service Day was held on March 18th at Lowell Elementary.  AmeriCorps members, working with city employees from Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, representatives from Veggielution and members from the community worked to beautify the school through projects such as re-touching lines in the kindergarten play area and repainting a United States map.  They also collected trash and debris, removed weeds and turned soil.  The centerpiece project was the installation of a new school science garden – AmeriCorps members and Veggielution set-up planter boxes with fresh soil and planted flowers for a new garden that will be tended by teachers and students.
  • CSU Stanislaus celebrated the 14th annual Cesar E. Chavez Celebration on March 26. The highlight of the event was recognizing middle school students enrolled in Cesar E. Chavez Service Clubs, a service-based after-school program, and CSU Stanislaus students who participated in the ninth annual Cesar E. Chavez Poetry and Poster Contest.  The celebration included two keynote speakers - former United Farm Workers organizer and Turlock native Aggie Rose Chavez and noted labor attorney Liza Medina, who shared stories about their work with Cesar Chavez and about the importance of community activism.  A reception prior to the event included music and dancing, provided by the Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity, Balet Folclórico, Los Falcones, and Movimiento Cultural Náhuatl.  A large photo collection documenting local labor history was displayed and CSU Stanislaus Teatro Los Hijos del Campos performed a bilingual comedy skit.
  • In celebration of Cesar Chavez Day, San Diego State hosted a Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Luncheon in which four students, who exemplified the qualities that Cesar lived by, were awarded scholarships.  Also, two faculty members who have made service a priority in their classrooms as well as in their local and global communities were honored with the Cesar E. Chavez lifetime achievement award.  Students also teamed up with South Bay Community Services Center to work on one of their sites.
  • Sonoma State hosted Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of civil and labor rights activist Cesar Chavez, on May 11th to speak to students, staff, and faculty.  She is currently the Programs Director for the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, where she spearheads the National Youth Leadership Initiative. Julie has also worked with the state of California on the development and administration of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, and a web-based K-12 curriculum on the life and work of Cesar Chavez.
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about editorial content, e-mail Judy Botelho at jbotelho@calstate.edu.

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