Cesar Chavez memorial celebration brings inspiration to Inland community

IECN photo Bill Sandefur:  The 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Memorial Breakfast held on Saturday at Cal State San Bernardino drew hundreds from the region.
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On Saturday, March 30, the 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Memorial Breakfast was held at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).

The motivating event was hosted by LEAD (Latino Education & Advocacy Days), with the Chicano Latino Caucus of San Bernardino as the principal organizers, emceed by District 47 Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes and featured many speakers throughout the program.

Photo Bill Sandefur: Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes emceed the 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Memorial Breakfast at CSUSB.

“The end of all education should be service to others. Get that degree…and bring what you learned back to your community. There are so many people out there who need help,” said Reyes.

The program began with the Pledge of Allegiance by New Mexico National Guard Veteran Danny Morales.

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“There are 36,000 deported veterans. Most are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and they are suffering. We would like to see them get their citizenship…they fought for this country,” Morales said.

Photo Bill Sandefur: Members of the Rialto Unified School District, and Ana Gonzales, president of the Chicano Latino Caucus of SB County.

The program was consistent with its messaging of integrity, dignity, si se puede attitude and innovation.

“We must work together to stop the hate and injustice against minorities. Our job is to lobby elected officials and let them know what we want and what’s best for all. The struggle is far from over,” said Ana Gonzales, president of the Chicano Latino Caucus of San Bernardino County.

At the end of her speech, Gonzales shared a quote from Chavez, “You must be of service to the people. When we all stand together, there is nothing that is impossible.”

During the program, CSUSB’s Division of University Advancement Vice President Dr. Robert J. Nava shared the university’s continued plan of inclusiveness and commitment to being a resource to minority students.

“This university belongs to all of us. It belongs to everyone. This campus is embracing diversity and inclusion. A majority of students and alumni at CSUSB are first generation students. Over 60 percent of students here are Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino,” Nava said.

During the second half of the program Dr. José Ángel Gutiérrez and Ed Gomez led the keynote speaking engagement.

Gutiérrez remains one of the most important and influential leaders of the Chicano movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s; Gomez is a history professor throughout the region…and has been teaching at San Bernardino Valley College for over 21 years.

Prayer of the Farm Workers’ Struggle, a piece written by Chavez, closed out the event, “Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I will know my people’s plight. Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person. Help me to take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last. Grant me the courage to serve others, for in service there is true life. Give me honesty and patience, so that I can work with other workers. Bring forth song and celebration, so that the Spirit will be alive among us. Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle. Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world. Amen.”

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Manny B. Sandoval is passionate about reporting on local politics, with much ethical regard. Sandoval holds a Bachelor of Art's Degree in Communication from California State University, San Bernardino. He is passionate about giving back and using his voice to recognize non-profit organizations around the Inland Empire. Sandoval is quite typical, he loves going to the gym, hikes, he loves music, writing (of course), talking, his family and friends, learning, but most of all, he loves coffee. He has a background in reporting, announcing, audio production and public relations.