Symposium, exhibit examine legacy of labor and civil rights activist

January 30, 2013

The life and work of prominent labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez will be the focus of a Feb. 14 symposium at Penn State and a photography exhibit at the Art Alley of the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus. 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 Cesar Chavez,” an exhibition of photographs and autobiographical reflections produced by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Featuring 38 photographs paired with personal recollections, “In His Own Words” examines the values and experiences that drove Chavez 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 Chavez’s significance and legacy. The event will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Hetzel Lounge, followed by a reception.

The panelists and their topics are:
Jill Jensen, Penn State: “Cesar Chavez and the California Farmworkers: The Struggle in the Fields for Workers’ Rights;”
Josue David Cisneros, Northeastern University: “The Legacy of Cesar Chavez in Contemporary Immigrant Rights Movements;"
Steve Martin, Ripon College: “Remembering (and Forgetting) Cesar Chavez: The Texas Board of Education’s Efforts to Erase Chavez from U.S. History;” and
Richard J. Jensen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas: “The Quiet Charisma of Cesar Chavez.”

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, contact J. Michael Hogan, co-director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation, at



  • Cesar Chavez

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015