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State grant to help UCR outreach programs celebrate Cesar Chavez

State grant to help UCR outreach programs celebrate Cesar Chavez

(February 9, 2001)

A state grant of more-than-$17,600 will fund a community outreach effort based at the University of California, Riverside, recognizing the life and work of the farm workers' rights advocate, Cesar Chavez.

The effort is spearheaded by the University/Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC) AmeriCorps project with the Office of Governmental and Community Relations at UCR. It will include a variety of short- and long-term activities that reinforce Chavez' philosophy of service to others.

Activities will include multicultural and fine arts programs for needy children and families, a celebration and concert series promoting nonviolence, and several children's programs that teach nonviolent expression through art. The activities will take place in the basement of the Cesar Chavez Community Center at the Bobby Bonds Sports Park on University Avenue in Riverside. The renovated space will be known as the "UECC Art Zone."

The effort is supported by a $17,632 grant from the California Commission on Improving Life Through Service, which awarded grants at Gov. Gray Davis' recommendation, for efforts that celebrate Chavez, the late advocate for farm worker rights. The state legislature recently declared Chavez' birthday, March 31, a state holiday.

Those who helped sponsor the UECC AmeriCorps project proposal included the City of Riverside Department of Parks and Recreation Department, the Riverside Unified School District, and the UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Some of the activities the UECC AmeriCorps project will undertake include:
  • Renovating the basement of the Cesar Chavez Community Center in Riverside to house a Latin American Arts Center for Children and Families.
  • Attracting a variety of artists specializing in Latin American art to teach free classes as artists-in-residence to children and families living near the community center.
  • Paying for UCR graduate students in the arts to teach free art courses for children and families.
  • Funding a one-day community concert and celebration in honor of Cesar Chavez with music, entertainment, and showcased artwork from the Latin American Art Center.
  • Creating a mural honoring peace and non-violent expression that children can paint as a way of expressing themselves through art.

For more information, call Lucia Ortega, director of the UECC/AmeriCorps Project at the UCR Office of Government and Community Relations, (909) 787-7694, or Max Neiman, professor of political science at the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UCR, (909) 787-4693.

Contacts at cooperating agencies include Terry Nielsen, director of the Riverside Parks and Recreation Department at (909) 715-3459; and Josefina Canchola, Program Manager for Community Projects at the Riverside Unified School District, (909) 788-1021.

The University of California, Riverside ( 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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