The annual César Chávez Lecture Series at Hope College will feature the keynote address “Preserving the Legacy of Cesar Chavez through Faith, Commitment and Courage” by Juan Caballero, who is a legal fellow with the Western Michigan office of the American Civil Liberties Union, on Wednesday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.
The public is invited to the lecture. Admission is free.
Caballero joined the ACLU of Michigan as a legal fellow with the Western Michigan office in 2016. He is responsible for a range of litigation and advocacy work that supports and supplements the ACLU’s agenda in a variety of areas.
He earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. During his time in law school, he interned with the Immigrant Defense Project in New York City and the Pima County Public Defender’s office in Tucson, Arizona. He also spent the summer of 2015 interning with the ACLU of Southern California’s National Security and Immigrant Rights Project.
Caballero is driven in large part by his commitment to immigrant rights. To this end, he spent two years working with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at NYU Law School. As a student representative, he worked under the supervision of clinic professors to represent individuals in their proceedings in immigration court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
The César Chávez Lecture at Hope is named in honor of César E. Chávez, a first-generation American, born on March 31, 1927, just outside of Yuma, Arizona. Having experienced the hardships of life as a farm worker firsthand, Chavez worked tirelessly to improve the lives of farmworkers and Latino families. He became the founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America. His legacy has impacted the lives of millions of people all around the world. He was passionately driven by these mantras “we cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own”; and “Sí, se puede!” (Spanish for “Yes, it is possible”… “Yes, it can be done”). His work led to nationwide support and numerous improvements for union laborers.
The event is being co-sponsored by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Latino Student Organization and the campus-wide GROW (Growing Relationships through diverse Opportunities to strengthen involvement in an ever-changing World) initiative.
The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.