In memory of the late Latino labor leader, the Golden Bear Center has been renamed in honor of Cesar E. Chavez.
The April 3 dedication of the student learning and resource center for Chavez was held following the world premiere of "The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers' Struggle," in Wheeler Auditorium. The two-hour documentary is scheduled to air on PBS April 16.
The heart of the United Farmworkers Union, Chavez is remembered as the nation's most important Latino leader. The activities he and his dedicated organizers led inspired the Chicano activism of the 1960s and '70s, and helped create a Latino civil rights movement.
"The university is proud to have a lasting memorial to Cesar Chavez, an individual who serves as a powerful symbol for human dignity and equality as well as an inspiration to students, faculty and staff," said Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs.
The student-driven action began two years ago and was met with widespread support both on and off campus.
"Many students agreed the renaming of the student center would serve as a strong symbolic gesture of the university's commitment to diversity," said Abel Guillen-Jiron, a sociology student who co-sponsored the change.
"Cesar Chavez was not just a role model for Latinos, but for anyone who believes in the idea of social justice."