posted March 25, 2008

Chavez Celebration Scheduled for March 26-27

The 10th Annual Cesar Chavez Celebration at Hope College will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, March 26-27.

The annual celebration's keynote address, "Yes We Can," which will focus on the financial industry, will be presented on Wednesday, March 26, at 4 p.m. in the MaasCenter auditorium by David McKinney and Elias Sanchez, who are Hope alumni.

On Thursday, March 27, Dr. Sheila Contreras of Michigan State University will present "Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Great Immigration Debate" at 11 a.m. in the first floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication as part of the college's "Global Coffee Hour."

The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.

McKinney and Sanchez will share reflections on the impact of Chavez' movement as well as information about their background and the financial industry. They will discuss how their success in the financial industry is connected to the impact of Chavez' contributions and legacy. McKinney is a pension fund real estate investment advisor with Oakman Graves Capital Planners, and is a 1981 Hope graduate living in Chicago, Ill. Sanchez is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, and is a 1978 Hope graduate living in Hinsdale, Ill.

Contreras will highlight the influence of Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW). Her presentation will include an introduction to the Chicana/o movement politics of the 1970s and the relevance of that historical period to the current immigration debate in the United States. She is an associate professor at Michigan State University, teaching Chicano/Latino studies and American studies.

The events at Hope are named in honor of Cesar E. Chavez (1927-93), who played a leading role in the 1960s in organizing the nation's migrant farm workers, and was the first head of the National Farm Workers Association, later the United Farm Workers. March 31, his birthday, is the official Cesar E. Chavez Day of Service and Learning, which is a holiday in multiple states, including Michigan, and dozens of cities and counties throughout the nation.

The presentations on March 26 and 27 are sponsored by the college's La Raza Unida student organization, Office of Multicultural Education, and dean for international and multicultural education.

The MaasCenter is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia at 11th Street. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.