The ninth annual Cesar Chavez Convocation will honor the late civil rights activist with a keynote speech by journalist José Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winner. Vargas founded Define American, “a nonprofit project that seeks to elevate conversation around immigration,” according to College Nine and Ten’ s website.
The convocation was organized by College Ten, El Centro-Chicano Latino Resource Center and the Asian-American/Pacific Islander Resource Center in collaboration with Asian-American/Pacific Islander Heritage month.
David Padilla, second-year sociology major and intern at El Centro, said the event is a great way to honor Cesar Chavez’ s historical presence, legacy and importance in the Latina/o and Chicana/o communities.
Padilla said this year’ s keynote speaker will make the event especially unique. While keynote speakers in years past commonly addressed issues within the Latino/a communities, Vargas plans to address the effects of immigration on Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities as well.
“I think José Antonio Vargas embodies intersectionality between issues of immigration and how undocumented status doesn’ t just affect one community … it is very much an issue that affects [multiple communities],” said Padilla, who publicly identified as an undocumented student.
Chai Galano, a fourth-year world literature major and intern at the Asian-American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, said she hopes that members of the Asian-American community will come out to the festival and experience its broader ethnic focus.
“As a Filipino-American on campus, immigration is rarely talked about, especially within Asian-American and Pacific Islander orgs,” Galano said. “[The convocation] seems like a really good platform for [Asian-American and Pacific Islander students] to educate themselves that this issue transcends more than just one community, and a lot of communities on campus.”
Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to attend the event.
The Cesar Chavez Convocation will be held May 16 from
7-9 p.m. in the College Nine and Ten Multi-Purpose Room. To learn more about keynote speaker José Antonio Vargas, visit DefineAmerican.com.