Congratulations on $80,000 Gift Establishes Chicana/o Studies Department Endowment at San Diego Mesa College By Rita Sanchez Professor Emeritus
Congratulations Chicana Chicano Studies!
When two people meet and talk at a family gathering, miracles can happen. In fact the defining moment took place at my daughter Lucia's wedding, a celebration in itself. That was just over a year ago on 11/11/11. The core of the conversation initiated between guests Gracia Molina de Pick and Mike Ornelas became “the future of Chicana Chicano Studies.” Sra. Gracia has dedicated her life to the cause and Mike Ornelas has fought for the very life of Chicano Studies daily at Mesa College. That day, Sra. Gracia offered to contribute a generous endowment to Chicana Chicano Studies. In keeping with her spirit of generosity and her lifelong dedication to the cause of Chicana Chicano Studies when she first signed El Plan de Santa Barbara at UCSB in 1969, that exchange between two activists for justice has now been sealed, something else nice to celebrate at a wedding feast.
The rest is history; in 1970, soon after the founding of Chicana Chicano Studies at Mesa, the longest running Chicano Studies department, El Profe Cesar Gonzalez was hired to Chair the department. A young Professor of History Mike Ornelas was hired next and became his sidekick and colleague, life-long friend, and confidant—partners for justice. It had to be this way to be able to continue the never-ending fight to preserve what had just been won, a fledgling department. The department's first feminist, Cesar Gonzalez, Professor of Literature, elicited the efforts of friends and sister poets and novelists to promote the First Chicana Panel with, now literary giants, Ana Castillo, Lucha Corpi, and Alma Luz Villanueva at Mesa College. It was funded by the Humanities Institute and attended by a campus wide audience. That year was 1990. However, twenty years had passed before the first full time Chicana Professor was hired.
The Celebration of feminist history yesterday at Mesa was a giant step from the days when fighting to hire a woman and building the department was a first priority. The fight continues as it was observed at yesterday’s homage to Chicano Park leader Tommie Camarillo. This event, hosted by the new generation of Chicana Activists, Cesar Lopez, Manuel Velez, Victoria Chavez and bright student contributors, and others, proves that the commitment to continue the fight for justice, inclusion, and equality for women has not ended. It is also a great reminded that inequalities continue to exist on campuses and that a strong force of student and faculty activists is ready and willing to withstand them. Congratulations to Chicana Chicano Studies, its founders and its vision for the future.
!Que Viva La Chicana Brava!
The Mesa College Chicana/o Studies Department and the Mesa College Foundation will host a tribute to renowned educator, activist, philanthropist and feminist, Gracia Molina de Pick, on Thursday, August 8, at 5:30 p.m.
This special evening will be filled with friendship, the sounds of mariachi, Mexican antojitos, a silent auction, and brief comments from individuals whose lives have been touched by the passion, teachings, philanthropy and activism of Gracia Molina de Pick, who is expected to attend.
Proceeds from the event will support the design, fabrication and installation of gallery signage, a plaque, and a biographic narrative for the Gracia Molina de Pick Glass Gallery at Mesa College. The six-panel glass gallery, located in the rotunda of the Humanities, Languages and Multicultural Studies Building, will feature a series of displays. The first exhibit, dedicated to Gracia, will debut in Spring 2014.
Click here ticket information. Tickets may also be ordered through Eventbrite (processing fees apply) . A portion of ticket fees and donations are tax deductible. Those interested in top tier donation levels of $500 or more are asked to call 619-388-2759.
We encourage everyone whose lives have been touched by Gracia to join us for this event, and to give generously to support the naming of the Gracia Molina de Pick Glass Gallery at Mesa College.
The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies offers a dynamic, innovative program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to understanding the historical experiences and contemporary social realities of the Chicana/os as the largest segment of the Latino population in the United States. Critical thinking and effective oral and written communication skills are integrated across the curriculum which incorporates the arts and literature, gender studies, border studies, cultural studies, history, the social sciences, and policy studies. The curriculum prepares students at the undergraduate level for a multitude of careers options. Students earning a degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies may pursue careers in education, humanities, law, social work, business, the arts, public administration and more.
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The Chicano Studies curriculum is designed to meet general education requirements for all students. Many of the classes also serve as lower-division preparation for the major classes for students planning to transfer and earn a BA degree in Chicano Studies and professional fields, including social sciences, humanities, law, teaching, social work, and public administration. Chicano Studies courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
We believe in the development of the total person, with special emphasis on both the individual and social potentials of students. It is therefore incumbent on Chicano Studies to help students to succeed in the pursuit of excellence in their individual academic and career goals.
We believe it is a primary responsibility of Chicano Studies to develop the social awareness and social conscience of students to stimulate their leadership and community service potential.
We believe that students must develop a solid academic understanding of their socio-economic, political, and historical realities. Inherent in this process is the development of students’ ability to think and express themselves in an organized, logical, and critical manner.
"Toward a Philosophy of Chicano Studies at Mesa College"
November 10, 1976
This is an Interdisciplinary Project in Art, Chicana/o Studies and Languages.
Alessandra Moctezuma (Art), Maria Consuelo Lopez-Aramburu (Chicana/o Studies), and Maria Bolivar (Languages) San Diego Mesa College Professors
This project infuses global understanding into the college community by making visible the experience of bi-national culture through interpretive first-hand research, and the final creation of projects to be shared collectively. Several steps were necessary to successfully complete this project: First, in a lecture/presentation format facilitators discussed issues related to globalization's impact in the U.S./Mexico borderlands, and more specifically its effect in the San Diego and Tijuana region. Image: display caseAfter the presentation students were divided in teams and required to go out in the community to research topics related to the workshop's themes. Students created final projects according to their disciplines of interest but they were also required to make adequate interdisciplinary connections. Language acquisition, historic research and artistic production were explored and applied. Students engaged in the following: Using Spanish and studying the evolution of Spanglish (both at the appropriate basic communicative level, and in forms and constructions that entice cultural sensitivity), conducting research of popular and vernacular forms of art -murals, graffiti- and exploring different methods of historical research -oral histories, testimonies, alternative voices, and primary documents. The final projects were developed either individually or in groups.
Topics explored by students, within the broad theme of global understanding and effects of globalization included:
The project will be on display in the Chicana/o Studies Department display case outside of G-107 for the 2010-2011 academic school year.