March 30, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink will join local and state students and educators in celebrating the life and legacy of César E. Chávez at a virtual event on Wednesday.
GRCC is a sponsor of West Michigan's annual César E. Chávez Community Celebration, planned for March 31, from 10-11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP for the virtual event online at gvsu.edu/inclusion/2021cec.
“César E. Chávez’s message was one of unity and compassion, and that is more important than ever as we emerge from the pandemic,” Pink said. “let us be inspired by his life and legacy, and remember to always look for ways we can help each other.”
This year's theme highlights unity with a focus on lifting others out of the pandemic. The keynote speaker is Andres Chávez, Chávez's grandson, who will speak on behalf of the foundation named in memory of his grandfather.
The effort is headed by the Hon. Lupe Ramos-Montigny, a former Grand Rapids Public Schools educator who just completed a term on the state Board of Education.
Ramos-Montigny said the virtual event makes it possible to share what is normally a West Michigan celebration with many more people.
"We can now connect across the state and beyond to focus on unity, which is what it will take to lift us out of this pandemic," Ramos-Montigny said. "We are building a larger circle of learners who will know more about the life and legacy of César Chávez."
Chávez, a labor organizer and Latino civil rights activist, died in 1993. The Committee to Honor César E. Chávez was founded in September 2000. Its main focus is to award college scholarships to Latino students.
Ramos-Montigny said Chávez’ legacy and mission for social justice carry on through the sacrifice of the first responders and frontline workers, and those harmed by COVID-19. She hopes the event will ignite the “Si se puede” spirit as we forge ahead to support each other out of the Pandemic. “
Speakers in the virtual event include President Pink, Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella, Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Leadriane Roby, Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, The Potter’s House School, and Superintendent John Booy.