Wednesday, February 27, 6:30 pm, San Diego Public Library
Wangenheim Room (third floor), 820 E Street, San Diego
An American book discussion – THE THIRD LIFE OF GRANGE COPELAND
Alice Walker, author of the novel The Color of Purple, presents a new book: The Third Life of
Grange Copeland includes themes ranging from dispossession to
education and transformation as expressed through the early boyhood, youth, and
old age of an unlikely hero. Dr. Camille F. Forbes, from the Literature
Department at UCSD, will facilitate the discussions. Read the book and
Museum of Contemporary Art San
Diego, La Jolla campus
Luis Alberto Urrea, best-selling author and
professor, is the 2012-2013 Endowed Scholar-in-Residence. Mr. Urrea was a
finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his non-fiction book The Devil's
At an evening lecture on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., at the Museum
of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla campus, he will share his story of
transformation from his beginnings on a dirt street in Tijuana to Pulitzer
Prize finalist. Though recognized as a writer who concentrates on the border
regions of the Southwestern United States, Mr. Urrea says, "Borders don't
interest me. I'm really in the business of building bridges." He uses his
dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and
Mr. Urrea, who attended the University of California at San Diego, earned an
undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University
of Colorado-Boulder, is a professor of creative writing at the University of
The event is being presented without charge, but registration is required
and printed tickets will be collected at the door.
THE CHICANO WAVE.It is a history
of Mexican Americans told through the evolution of Chicano music. It is the
third hour of the four hour nationally broadcast PBS series LATIN MUSIC
USA.The film features Ritchie Valens,
Selena, Freddy Fender, Linda Ronstadt, Los Tigres del Norte and Los Lobos among
others.It lays out a hard hitting
social history through the lives of Chicano musicians, but in a package that is
informative and enjoyable.
“I shed tears of anguish
As I see my children disappear
Behind the shroud of mediocrity
Never to look back to remember me.
I am Joaquin. I must fight
And win this struggle for my sons,
And they must know from me
Who I am.”
-- from “I Am Joaquin”
by Rodolfo “ Corky” Gonzales
And so - Rodolfo
Gonzales, a political activist destined to take the lead, set the
example, and inspire many people, chose his fight: “The Crusade For
Justice”. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was born in Denver on June 18, 1928
to Federico and Indalesia Gonzales. He was the youngest of five brothers
and three sisters, Nattie, Beatrice, Tomas, Esperanza, Federico,
Severino, and Arturo. Corky's mother died when he was two years old and
his father never re-married, but managed somehow to keep the Gonzales
family together. The senior Gonzales ruled his household with a firm
hand, tempered with love.
The children grew up in the
tough eastside barrio of Denver during the devastating Depression.
Rodolfo said, "Though the Depression was devastating to so many, we, as
children, were so poor that it (the Depression) was hardly noticed."
Corky's father had
emigrated from Mexico to Colorado early in life and often spoke to Corky
about the Mexican Revolution, Mexico’s history, and the pride of the
Mexican people. Thus leaving little doubt in Corky's mind about his own
identity - and possibly his destiny.
With the tremendous
obstacles that faced Rodolfo from an early age, it is truly astonishing
that he persevered in the Denver educational system to earn his high
school Diploma at the age of 16. The accomplishment is magnified by the
fact that from an early age, Rodolfo worked in the beet fields and at
various other jobs that left little time for study. Corky attended many
schools including schools in New Mexico as well as schools in Denver,
Gilpin, Whittier, Lake, Baker, West, and finally Manual High School from
which he graduated in 1944.
During his final year in
high school and the subsequent summer, Corky worked hard to save money
for a college education. With a keen interest in engineering, Corky
entered the University of Denver, but after the first quarter realized
that the financial cost was insurmountable. Rodolfo then pursued a
career in Boxing. An outstanding amateur national champion Rodolfo
became one of the best featherweight (125 lb) fighters in the world.
Even though Ring Magazine ranked Corky number three in the world, he
never got a justly deserved title shot.
In the mid-1960's, Rodolfo
Gonzales founded an urban civil rights and cultural movement called the
Crusade for Justice. Soon he became one of the central leaders in the
Chicano movement and a strong proponent of Chicano nationalism. In the
late sixties and early seventies, Corky Gonzales organized and supported
high school walkouts, demonstrations against police brutality, and
legal cases. He also organized mass demonstrations against the Vietnam
In 1968 Gonzales led a
Chicano contingent in the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C. While
there, he issued his "Plan of the Barrio" which called for better
housing, education, barrio-owned businesses, and restitution of pueblo
lands. He also proposed forming a Congress of Aztlan to achieve these
One of the most important
roles played by Gonzales was as an organizer of the Annual Chicano Youth
Liberation Conference, an ambitious effort to create greater unity
among Chicano youth. These Conferences brought together large numbers of
Chicano youth from throughout the United States and provided them with
opportunities to express their views on self-determination. The first
conference in March 1969 produced a document, “EL PLAN ESPIRITUAL DE
AZTLAN (THE SPIRITUAL PLAN OF AZTLAN)”, which developed the concept of
ethnic nationalism and self-determination in the struggle for Chicano
liberation. The second Chicano Youth Conference in 1970 represented a
further refinement in Corky Gonzales's efforts toward Chicano
self-determination, the formation of the Colorado Raza Unida Party.
During this time Corky and
his wife, Geraldine Romero Gonzales, raised a family of six daughters
and two sons, Nita, mother of two children; Charlotte, mother of three;
Gina, mother of three; Gail, mother of four; Rudy, father of one;
Joaquin, father of three; Cindy, mother of two; and Valerie, mother of
two. All their children remain in Denver and continue to carry on
Corky's fight with his guidance. Corky is proud of his family,
especially the twenty-four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Recently celebrating his fifty-sixth wedding anniversary, Corky
attributed the closeness and strength of his family to his beloved wife,
Geraldine, who has been his most enthusiastic and ardent supporter.
In many ways, Corky
Gonzales has greatly influenced the Chicano movement. His key to
liberation for the Chicano community is to develop a strong power base
with heavy reliance on nationalism among Chicanos. His contributions as a
community organizer, youth leader, political activist, and civil rights
advocate have helped to create a new spirit of Chicano unity.
Rodolfo "Corky” Gonzales'
life has been a collage of challenges that have been met and overcome.
He has never wavered in his commitment to enhance the lives of his
people in this country, to change what is not fair, what is not right.
As long as there are injustices, double standards, racism, and apathy,
Corky's dedication, loyalty, and love of the struggle against these
diseases of society will serve as an inspiration for all people to act.
In his column in the Denver Post of January 6, 1988, Tom Gavin wrote,
"He’s grizzled now, and gray,
but he stands tall, Corky Gonzales does,
and taller still, Rodolfo "I am Joaquin" Gonzales.
The one was a pretty good boxer, the other is a leader of men."
FUNDRAISER! Sunday, February 3, 2013 -
5:00pm until 9:00pm
the Centro Cultural de la Raza
Since 2010, 19 people have been
killed by Border Patrol agents. Within the last few months the U.S. Border
Patrol shot and killed Munique Tachiquin, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez,
Guillermo Arevalo Pedroza, Juan Pablo Perez Santillan, and Byron Neftali Sosa
Orellana. It is extremely rare for U.S. Border authorities to face criminal
charges, but how many more people have to die before these acts of
unjustifiable murder are held accountable? The disproportionate use of lethal
force is unacceptable under any circumstances.
It is for this reason that our
community and organizations are coming together for a protest at the San
Ysidro/Tijuana Border, Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 2:00pm. The purpose of
the fundraiser is to raise funds to bring family members of the victims to
share their tragic stories and to demand justice for their loved ones.
Sol de Chula Vista
Maria Puga (widow of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas)
Felix Garcia (Abajo y a la Izquierda)
*$5.00 at the door
*We will also be selling
Delicious Enchiladas and Tostadas for a donation.
Over 1,500,000 people have been deported since Jan. 1, 2009. At
this rate President Obama will have deported more people in six years than all
people deported before 1997. This is unacceptable. Please sign up below to tell our leaders to stop this now, and
to learn more about what you can do to fix our broken immigration system. After
you sign, please share this with your friends so everyone knows what is at
Barack Obama, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch
is enough. Every minute you wait to fix our broken immigration system is
another minute that someone gets deported and a family gets torn apart. Fix