Chicano Awareness Week kicks off

Chicano Awareness Week kicks off today at Portland State. The theme of the week is “Arts, Education and Activism.” There are a multitude of events scheduled for Chicano Awareness Week that are bound to fulfill all areas of interests.

“Students get 500 years of Chicano history in a week,” said Marlena Gangi, vice president of MEChA.

Elsa Tellez, a coordinator for Los Mujeres de La Raza, said that the week is meant to raise awareness about the Chicano population on campus and in society.

“We never had a week like this,” Gangi said.

Today marks the first day of the event, there will be a Latina luncheon, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the basement of Smith Memorial Center, with feature guest, Judith Baca. Baca is a muralist and an activist.

According to Gangi, Baca is responsible for the installation of 250 murals in the Los Angeles area alone. Baca will also conduct a lecture and slide presentation on Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 294 Smith Memorial Center.

Ramon Ramirez, president of the PCUN (farmworkers union), will give a lecture and show the film, “Aumento Ya!” The PCUN, Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United, is Oregon’s largest union of farmworkers, nursery and restoration workers. The mission of the organization is to empower farmworkers and take action against exploitation. The PCUN is Oregon’s largest Latino organization. The event will take place Monday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Vanport Room on the third floor of Smith Memorial Center.

On Tuesday, March 6, Maria Amparo Escandon, author of “Esparanza’s Box of Saints”, will have a lecture and book signing at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Vanport Room. Escandon’s book was also made into a film.

Also on Tuesday, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, will have a lecture and book signing in the Ballroom on the 3rd floor of Smith Memorial Center from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Martinez’s books include “De Colores Means All of Us,” “500 Years of Chicano History” and “Red Dirt-Growing Up Okie.”

According to Gangi, the Chicano Awareness Week is a collective effort between MEChA, Los Mujeres de La Raza, and Chicano/Latino Studies.

Cosponsors for the event are the Multicultural Center and Portland State University Speakers Board.


Chicano Awareness Week – Calendar of events

Monday, March 5
Mexica Tiahui Dance Troupe: Ceremonial Aztec Blessing
11a.m., Park blocks/Multicultural Center- Basement, Smith Memorial Center

Ramon Ramirez, President, PCUN (Farmworkers Union): Lecture and Film, Aumento Ya!
6:30 p.m., Vanport Room, 3rd floor, Smith Memorial Center

Tuesday, March 6
Maria Amparo Escandon, Author: Lecture and Book Signing
12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Vanport Room, third Floor, Smith Memorial Center

Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, Author: Lecture and Book Signing
6:30 to 9 p.m., Ballroom, third floor, Smith Memorial Center

Wednesday, March 7th
Film Presentation: TBA, Room 296/298 Smith Memorial Center

Thursday, March 8
Jorge Melendez, Programa Hispano with Lami Subia: Lecture, Poetry and Discussion Regarding Youth, Art and Culture
4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Cascade Room, 2nd Floor, Smith Memorial Center

Rigoberto Reyes, Amigos San Diego Car Club: Lecture, “Political and Artistic Expressions of Chicano Car Clubs 1950s to Present.”
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Cascade Room, second floor, Smith Memorial Center

Friday, March 9
Cecilia Alvarez, Seattle Artist, Educator and Activist: Lecture, “Art as Cultural Affirmation”
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Room 239, Smith Memorial Center

Ernesto Bustillos, Union del Barrio, Activist and Educator: Panel Presentation, “Retaining Chicano History and Culture Through Education”
(Other panelists include Cecilia Alvarez and Rigoberto Reyes)
2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Multicultural Center Basement, Smith Memorial CenterClosing Reception
6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Vanport Room, third floor, Smith Memorial Center