March 23, 2001

César Chávez Celebration to be Presented During April at UCSD

A month-long roster of diverse activities to celebrate the life and contributions of César Chávez —described in one biography title as Conquering Goliath— will be held in varying venues during April at the University of California, San Diego. Celebration activities follow directly on the heels of the March 31 César Chávez state holiday, observed in California this year for the first time.

The labor leader and principal figure in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement will be the subject of a film festival, an essay contest, two symposiums, an exhibit on his life as part of an annual campus celebration, and a display of books at the UCSD Bookstore.

The César Chávez Film Festival will screen at 7 p.m. on four Mondays during April at the UCSD Price Center Theatre. Admission to all films is free and open to the public.

The April 2 film will be The Fight in the Fields: César Chávez and the Farmwork-ers' Struggle, a portrait of the United Farmworkers Union leader and the history of that union. The April 9 film is... and the earth did not swallow him, an adaptation of a classic Chicano novel about a young Mexican-American boy and his migrant farmworker family.

On April 16, Salt of the Earth, the true-life story of the struggle of a Mexican-American mining community seeking better working condition, will screen. The film festival wraps up April 23 with Las Mineras, a documentary profiling the 50-year struggle for justice by Mexican-American copper miners in Arizona.

The State of Migrant Labor in the Western United States: Then and Now is the topic of a symposium to be held from noon to 4 p.m. April 17 in Deutz Conference Room of UCSD's Copley International Conference Center, Institute of the Americas. Wayne Cornelius, Gildred Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD, is symposium moderator.

Six leading scholars in various disciplines will discuss the challenges facing migrant farm workers, past and present, including their changing relations with employers, labor contractors, and labor unions, the ways in which undocumented immigration status affects migrants' access to jobs and terms of employment, and varied social, legal and political issues affecting the well-being of migrant works.

Sí se puede: The Legacy of César Chávez is the topic of a day-long symposium to be presented April 28 in the Deutz Conference room of UCSD's Copley International Conference Center, Institute of the Americas. Jorge Huerta, UCSD Chancellor's Associates Professor of Theatre, will moderate.

The symposium focus will be historical and cultural information on César Chávez, the United Farmworkers, and Mexican-American labor presented by four leading scholars on Chávez and the activities related to his involvements. Musical and theatrical presentations will be included in the program.

How Has César E. Chávez influenced My Life, and What Impact Has His work Had, Or Will Have, on My Future? is the topic of essays submitted by San Diego and Imperial County students, grades 7 through 12. Winning authors will be recognized at an awards ceremony April 7 at UCSD's Thurgood Marshall Cultural Celebration.

Also featured at the April 7 annual cultural celebration will be an installation of memorabilia of historic significance on Chávez in the Thurgood Marshall College Administration Building. Admission is free.

The UCSD Bookstore will have a month-long in-store display of books about Chávez and the Chicano movement of the 1960s. It also will feature books at conference sites.

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