April 15, 2002 Vol. VI, No. 14

Campus Events to Showcase Legacy of Cesar Chavez

Grant of $111,000 Awarded by State Office on Service and Valuation

Cal State Northridge has been awarded more than $111,000 by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism to coordinate an array of health, historical, technological and cultural events showcasing the life and legacy of the late Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez.

CSUN's Center for Community Service-Learning, in partnership with nine professors and the city of San Fernando, received money to put together several projects involving CSUN students and K-12 students in the city of San Fernando.

"Our community is enriched by cooperative efforts that bring the Cesar Chavez legacy to life," said Maureen Rubin, director of the Center for Community Service-Learning. "To support the grant, the campus came together to share its creativity and technology to celebrate this incredible man."

Among the projects the students worked on are a display of artwork, photography and oral histories, an essay contest and the production of a play, Cesar Chavez: An Inspiration. The play will be performed in the Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. on April 28. Admission is free.

CSUN health sciences professor Vicki Ebin also received money for several student-designed projects that focus on the accomplishments and values of Cesar Chavez, from a garden to trash cans painted with Chavez's values and community photographs with a "student voice."

The student activities will culminate with a "Community Celebration and Health Fair" on April 6 at Winnketka Elementary School and on May 4 at Sylmar Recreation Park. Each day will feature health screenings, health games, student presentations and other learning activities.

"The purpose is to build a strong relationship between the community and CSUN," Ebin said.

Both projects, Ebin's and the one in San Fernando, were made possible through funding from the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism (GO SERV). In 2000, Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation to create the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning. On April 1, 2002, individuals, business and community leaders, teachers and school children are expected to unite in meaningful projects that commemorate the legacy of Cesar Chavez and the principles he embodied.

Cesar Chavez grants are distributed to local- and state-operated programs to direct attention to the history of the farm labor movement in the United States, especially emphasizing Chavez's role in the movement.

Cesar Chavez was the founder and president of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. For nearly 40 years, the union has represented the men and women who worked in the agricultural fields, orchards and vineyards of America. Chavez is credited with drawing attention to such issues as racism and economic discrimination that affected the farm workers. He died in 1993.

Through its Center for Community Service-Learning, Cal State Northridge has more than 300 university students helping to educate the community and K-12 students on the work and legacy of Chavez.

For more information about the Cesar Chavez events, call (818) 677-7395, log on to www.geocities.com/cesarchavez02 or www.chavezday.ca.gov/, or call Candis Melamed at (310) 472-2926.

@csun | April 15, 2002 issue
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