A tradition that started in 2009, then-Latino Advisory Council of
Staff and Faculty (LACSF) President, Dr. Sandra M. Gonzáles,
helped to create a campus-wide initiative to celebrate the César
Chávez Day of Service and Learning. The 2009 celebration
included poetry readings by students from Detroit’s César
Chávez Academy Middle School, addresses by prominent keynote
speakers, live mariachi music and a procession to the César
Chávez Fountain on campus.
During the 5th Annual César Chávez Day Luncheon, in 2013, Dr.
Gonzáles returned to EMU to deliver the keynote address. After
her talk, she became the first recipient of the Dr. Sandra M.
Gonzales Trailblazer Award, recognizing Latino/a leaders who
have made significant contributions to the Latinx community on
the EMU campus and beyond.
In 2016, Faculty and Staff Association (LFSA) President Dr. Raúl
León invited students from César Chávez Academy High School
to attend the 8th Annual César Chávez Day Luncheon. LFSA
collaborated with EMU Enrollment Management and the Latinx
Student Association to provide high school students with a
tour of campus and a panel exploring the Latinx student
experience at EMU.
Since its inception, the annual event has grown to include hundreds
of students representing more than 10 different high schools
throughout Southeast and Mid-Michigan as a way to honor the
“Service and Learning” in the César Chávez Day of Service and
Learning, while helping to prepare underserved student
populations for college.
The 2020 César Chávez celebration, which will be hosted on Monday,
March 30, will be no different. Gabriela Santiago-Romero,
policy and research director for We The People Michigan will
serve as the keynote speaker.
An immigrant from Mexico and Southwest Detroit native,
Santiago-Romero earned her master of social work studying Social
Policy and Evaluation with a focus on Community and Social
Systems from the University of Michigan. She received her
bachelors from the University of Detroit Mercy focused on
Gabriela is a community activist and organizer who has extensive
experience working for Detroit nonprofits and local government.
She recently announced her candidacy for Wayne County
Commissioner in District 4 which covers Southwest Detroit,
Lincoln Park and Melvindale. The event will be hosted
from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the EMU Student Center ballroom,
located at 900 Oakwood Street in Ypsilanti.
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university
in Michigan. It currently serves nearly
pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and
certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In
all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are
delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and
Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology;
Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is
regularly recognized by national publications for its
excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For
more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit www.emich.edu.