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Sí, se puede (It can be done!): Legacy of Cesar Chavez

The life and work of prominent labor and civil rights activist César Chávez will be the focus of a Penn State symposium on Thursday, Feb. 14 and a photography exhibit at the Art Alley of the HUB-Robeson Center. The events are co-sponsored by Penn State’s Center for Democratic Deliberation and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and are free to the public.

From now through Feb. 24, the Art Alley is hosting “In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez,” an exhibition of photographs and autobiographical reflections produced by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Featuring thirty-eight photographs paired with personal recollections, “In His Own Words” examines the values and experiences that drove Chávez to work tirelessly to improve the lives of American farm workers, in the process becoming one of the most influential labor and civil rights leaders of the 20th century.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a symposium on the contributions of Chávez to labor history and Latina/o culture will feature four panelists and an open discussion of Chávez’s significance and legacy. The event will be held in the Hetzel Lounge on Thursday, Feb. 14, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

The panelists and their topics will be:

• Jill Jensen, Penn State: “César Chávez and the California Farmworkers: The Struggle in the Fields for Workers’ Rights;”
• Josue David Cisneros, Northeastern University: “The Legacy of César Chávez
in Contemporary Immigrant Rights Movements;”
• Steve Martin, Ripon College: “Remembering (and Forgetting) César Chávez:
The Texas Board of Education’s Efforts to Erase Chávez from U.S. History;” and
• Richard J. Jensen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas: “The Quiet Charisma of
César Chávez.”
Event co-sponsors are the HUB-Robeson Galleries, the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Latina/o Studies, and The Center for Global Workers’ Rights, all at Penn State.

For more information, go to the CDD website at or to the Penn State Democracy Institute website at

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