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Southwest Michigan slates 2018 Chávez awards dinner

KALAMAZOO: Southwest Michigan will celebrate the life and work of civil rights leader César E. Chávez on Saturday, March 24, 2018 during an annual scholarship fundraising dinner that includes the presentation of regional awards and scholarships.

Called “Celebrating the Legacy of César E. Chávez,” the 2018 dinner will mark the 12th time that Western Michigan University’s [WMU's] Division of Multicultural Affairs has joined with the Southwest Michigan César E. Chávez Committee and area businesses to stage a banquet on or around Chávez' March 31 birthday.

 Dr. Juan R. Olivarez

This year's program

The 2018 celebration will be held in the Fetzer Center on WMU's Main Campus and begins with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by the dinner and awards program at 5:30 p.m. It also will feature a keynote address by Dr. Juan R. Olivarez, former president of Aquinas College.

Proceeds from the fundraising dinner support seven $2,000 need-based César E. Chávez Committee of Southwest Michigan Scholarships that go to Michigan college or college-bound Hispanic students primarily from Allegan, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties.

Reservations for the dinner, which costs $25 for students and $40 for others, are being encouraged by Tuesday, March 20, although attendees also may pay at the door. To make a reservation for the “Celebrating the Legacy” dinner, call (269) 387-4420.

For more information, visit swmchavez.org or contact WMU's Miguel Ramirez at miguel.ramirez@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4420. Free parking will be available in Lot 72F. For directions to WMU or a campus map, visit wmich.edu/maps/print.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Olivarez, past president of Aquinas College and the first Hispanic president of a college or university in Michigan, has dedicated most of professional career to working in education and advocating for a quality educational system by focusing on early childhood education, literacy and equal access to education for all individuals.

He served as the seventh president of Aquinas College from 2011 to 2017 and eighth president of Grand Rapids Community College from 1999 to 2008. In addition, he was a GRCC dean for 20 years; president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation for three years; and a teacher, school psychologist and administrator with the Grand Rapids Public Schools system for many years.

Community awards

• Receiving the Chávez Social Justice Leadership Award is Susan Reed of Kalamazoo, managing attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. This award honors individuals or organizations for showing leadership as they support southwest Michigan's Hispanic community.

• Receiving the Dolores Huerta Community Service Award is the Family Health Center of Kalamazoo. This award honors individuals and organizations for demonstrating some of the leadership skills and character traits honed so successfully by Sra. Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers with César Chávez.

• Receiving the Tri-Community Award is Margarito “Mike” Colegio of Hartford, Michigan, who retired from the Van Buren Intermediate School District after working 45 years in education. This award honors individuals for demonstrating community involvement that exemplifies the ideals of justice and equality shown by civil rights and social justice icons Chávez, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy.

Student scholarships

• Receiving Chávez Committee scholarships are: Isaac Carrizales of Lawton, Lawton High School; Luis Cervantes of Coloma, Watervliet High School; Jessica Cortes of Bangor, Hartford High School; Angela Durán of Sturgis, Sturgis High School; Shayla Robles-Flores of Dowagiac, Decatur High School; María Gallegos of Pullman, Bloomingdale High School; and Leslie González of Battle Creek, Lakeview High School.

• The recipient of WMU’s Futuros Líderes Endowed Scholarship has yet to be announced. This southwest Michigan Chávez committee honor assists with WMU's diversity and inclusion efforts.

• The recipients of the Manifold Art Studio Scholarship has yet to be announced. These two $1,000 scholarships are provided for Latino students and emerging artists.

Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/20/18 20:04:31 -0800.




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