FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enrique Perez, J.D.,
(Santa Ana, CA) – The Rancho Santiago Community College District is proud to celebrate the life and impact of César Chávez in the month of March, especially given the influence that the Latinx community has on our colleges and because of our longstanding status as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).
Chancellor Marvin Martinez shared his reflections and said, “Throughout his life, César Chávez spoke truth to power. His leadership resulted in legal protections for farmworkers and a greater recognition of the dignity that all workers deserve. In honor of his legacy, we not only lift him up through the education and programs offered on our campuses, but hold close, our ability to support future generations—the descendants of farmworkers, and our charge to create a more equitable community."
As we all reflect upon the legacy of César Chávez, the visionary activist and organizer who fought tirelessly for farmworker rights, and whose story is central to that of social change in California and across the world; we focus on the actions we can take to pay it forward and honor his work. Activities and events that took place on the campuses of both Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College in honor of César Chávez.
Kindercaminata was held at Santa Ana College on March 25, 2022 with nearly 1,000 kindergarteners who graced the college campus with their presence for a morning of motivation and encouragement to one day pursue higher education. The day also included a “Si Se Puede!" children's march through a small part of campus, with President of Santa Ana College, Dr. Annebelle Nery as Grand Marshal. Additionally, a career exploration station, speakers, entertainment, and lunch were provided to the kiddos for a day of celebration and education.
Santa Ana College President, Dr. Annebelle Nery said, “The legacy of César Chávez as the founder, along with Dolores Huerta, of the United Farm Workers of America, reminds us of the central place that organizing and uniting has in America. Many of the students of Santa Ana College have a personal connection to the legacy that César Chávez established for farmworkers. We promote his image throughout campus, but moreover, promote his leadership and vision through the course offerings, programs, and support services provided to students to achieve success and a future that César Chávez could be proud of."
At Santiago Canyon College, the Strenger Plaza served as the backdrop for an event that was held today, March 28, 2022 from 10am to 1:00pm—featuring speakers Andres Chávez of the National Chávez Center from the César Chávez Foundation and Gustavo Arellano, community college alum and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. The event also featured an exhibit called, “A day in the life of a farmworker". Organizers of the event accepted donations on behalf of the National Long Sleeve Shirt Drive and the American Red Cross Blood Drive.
Santiago Canyon College President Dr. Pamela Ralston said, “Here at Santiago Canyon College, we celebrate César Chávez with an awareness day that promotes his life's work and legacy of equity and justice. The awareness day also provides an opportunity to highlight vital programs like CAMP, the College Assistance Migrant Program, which is a unique program that provides financial and academic support services to freshman migrant students. CAMP supports students in becoming acquainted with college life while validating their migrant experience and creating a supportive environment where students feel welcomed and accepted."
Chávez fought for some of the least powerful members of our society and showed the world that equity, justice, and great change are possible. Celebrating and spreading awareness about César Chávez includes our ability to inspire future leaders and amplify the notion that all people are valued and every voice can be heard.
Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park, and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Tustin. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and customized training for business and industry.