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Campus Salutes César Chávez


UC Riverside Salutes César Chávez With Events, Community Projects

5k Run/Walk and Rose Plating at Chavez Center is Part of the Celebration, UC Riverside also Working With School Children on Community Improvement Projects Focusing on the Arts

(March 25, 2003)

UC Riverside salutes César Chávez

UC Riverside salutes César Chávez

The University of California, Riverside will Celebrate the life and values of farm worker organizer and civil rights advocate César Chávez on Saturday March 29 with a 5k run/walk-a-thon on campus, a rose-planting ceremony at César Chávez Community Center and a community dinner to kick off a series of projects between the university and city schools.

The morning’s activities include the 2nd Annual César E. Chávez 5k Fun Run/Walk-A-Thon, scheduled for 8 a.m. to Noon, March 29, at the UC Riverside Student Recreation Center track and field near the corner of Linden Street and Canyon Crest Drive. The University/Eastside Community Collaborative, UC Riverside Chicano Educational and Cultural Fund, Chicano Student Programs, the UC Riverside Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations, and the Movimiento Estudiantíl Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) are sponsoring the event, which will raise money for local youth projects and scholarships.

After the 5k run/walk-a-thon, volunteers will be planting 30 rose bushes in a garden dedicated to Chávez and painting the auditorium at the César Chávez Community Center, 2060 University Ave. The day’s celebration will conclude with a community dinner at the Chávez Community Center.

The celebrations will continue throughout the year with a series of service projects conducted by the University/Eastside Community Collaborative at UC Riverside and 250 students from eight Riverside Unified School District campuses. Their projects, funded by a $131,000 grant from the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, focus on the arts to communicate César Chávez’s values of nonviolent conflict resolution to the community. The efforts will allow high school and elementary school children to tap their creativity in applying those values to help the Eastside, a community in crisis due to a rash of racially-tinged gang violence.

Participating schools will include Longfellow and Taft elementary schools, and Lincoln and Poly high schools, whose students will be working on the following projects, scheduled for completion by Dec. 31, 2003:

• Project I, Cultural Diversity — A youth comic book focusing on stories of resiliency and success of local young people. High school students will create a 44-page comic book outlining three stories of Riverside youth at risk of becoming enmeshed in the juvenile court system, gangs, or of dropping out of school, but who persevered and went on to succeed in life. The stories will help young people identify where their talents lie and to use those talents to reach their goals.

• Project II, Human Service — A local labor history project for elementary school children focusing on the value of immigrants in bringing food to the dinner table and enriching the life of the community. Students will build citrus crates, create their own crate labels and booklets of resources for the hungry using digital arts, and fill those crates with fruit from the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection. The crates will then be given to local agencies, schools, food banks and other groups that help the hungry.

• Project III, Community Improvement — A youth theatre arts project focusing on resolving conflict using the ongoing gang-related violence in the Eastside neighborhood of Riverside as the backdrop. High school students will write, build sets, make costumes and direct and perform a theatre play that will travel to area schools and community centers. The topic will focus on the violence between African American and Latino youth and how to peacefully resolve those conflicts.

• Project IV, Cultural Diversity — A digital banner art and book project that promotes the values espoused by César Chávez. Elementary school children will study the history of Chávez’ organization of the United Farm Workers Union and his civil rights struggles. They will create 10 banners using digital arts, which will be posted along University Avenue during next year’s César Chávez Day celebrations. They will also create a book containing community resources that reflect Chávez’s values, which will be distributed to churches, schools and nonprofit organizations throughout Riverside.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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