César E. Chávez Memorial Week Scheduled for June 3-8 in Riverside

UC Riverside is a co-sponsor of the week long series of events, which will culminate in the unveiling of a memorial and statue of the civil rights leader
By Ross French on May 30, 2013

César E. Chávez Memorial Week, set for June 3 and June 8, 2013, will remember the famed civil rights leader and will culminate with the unveiling of a statue in his honor.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Famed civil rights leader César E. Chávez will be remembered in a week-long series of events between June 3 and June 8, 2013, culminating in the unveiling of a memorial and statue in his likeness on Saturday, June 8.

The University of California, Riverside is one of several sponsors of the Memorial Week Activities. In addition, members of the UCR community will participate in several of the scheduled events.

The Memorial Week events will lead up to the unveiling of the César E. Chávez Memorial, created by sculptor Ignacio Gomez and located on the Main Street Downtown Pedestrian Mall near the corners of University Ave. & Main St.

“Chávez and the United Farmworkers carried out major organizing efforts throughout Riverside County and made several appearances on the UC Riverside campus,” said Estella Acuña, director of UCR’s Chicano Student Programs and a member of the event planning committee. “Chávez and the UFW activities served as a catalyst for numerous community mobilizations and student efforts supporting the farmworkers in their efforts to obtain human rights, social justice and a decent living wage.”

“The university, Chicano Student Programs, and UCR Student Organizations take pride in presenting activities embracing the legacy of an individual whose life was dedicated to the service of others, to the promotion of education and the lucha (struggle) for justice,” she added.

The memorial will be unveiled during a 10 a.m. ceremony on the pedestrian mall following a celebratory Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and processional to the memorial site. Guest speaker Paul Chávez, César Chávez’s son and a longtime UFW activist, will speak on behalf of the family.

The schedule of events is as follows:

On Monday, June 3, the César Chávez Community Center will host a Youth Arts Exhibit from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Included in the exhibit are photographs and poetry by sixth grade students from Madison Elementary School that is inspired by Chávez’s 10 core values. The center is located at University Avenue and Kansas Street is open to the public.

On Tuesday, June 4, UC Riverside’s Culver Center will host Flor y Canto, an evening of music, teatro, and spoken word on Tuesday June 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. California Poet Laureate and UCR Professor Juan Felipe Herrera and spoken word artist and UCR undergraduate Freddy Lopez will perform. Also performing are Teatro Las Chicanas, Joraquin Zihuatanejo and Rosa Marta Zarate. The event is sponsored by the UCR Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

On Wednesday, June 5 the Culver Center will play host to Pláticas y Memorias from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Moderated by Pitzer College emeritus professor Jose Zapata Calderon, the evening will feature reflections on the beginnings and growth of the UFW and the farm worker movement. Panelists include former United Farm Worker vice president and founder Dolores Huerta, former National Farmworker Ministry leader Chris Hartmire, former UFW volunteer and regional artist Barbara Carrasco, and former boycott leader Jerry Ryan. The event is sponsored by the UCR Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

On Thursday, June 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the University Gallery at Cal Baptist University will host an artist’s reception featuring the work of memorial sculptor Ignacio Gomez. More than 15 regional artists will have pieces on display responding to the themes of labor, farmworkers, and the lessons of Chávez. Artist Ronald Del Cid, a UCR alumni, will create a traveling mural during the reception. Live music will be performed by Quinta Penas. The gallery exhibit will be open during the day from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

On Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m., La Causa in Film will be shown at the Universalist Unitarian Church at 3657 Lemon St. in downtown Riverside. The presentation will be made up of short films, documentaries, and narrated slide shows depicting the life and times of Chávez.

The week’s events wrap up on Saturday, June 8 with the celebratory Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Riverside’s Eastside at the corner of Ninth Street and Park Avenue from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. A community procession will walk from the church to the unveiling site for the 10 a.m. unveiling.

Memorial Week sponsors include California Baptist University, UC Riverside Chicano Student Programs, City of Riverside, Division 9 Gallery, Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber, Parks and Recreation, Riverside Downtown Partnership, Riverside Public Utilities, University of California, Riverside and the Unitarian Church.

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