Yearly Event to Honor César Chávez Celebrates Leadership and Service
Outstanding students and other members of the California State University, Dominguez Hills community were honored at the Annual César Chávez Tardeada, which was held on March 27 in the Dominguez Ballroom of the Loker Student Union. The event, presented by the Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LFSA), featured guest speaker CSUDH President Mildred García. Christine Chávez, granddaughter of the late union founder and an activist in her own right, also made a special appearance.
A resident of East Los Angeles, Chávez recently joined Rev. Al Sharpton to announce the formation of the Latino and African American Leadership Alliance. Troubled by the escalating violence between Latinos and African Americans, Chavez is working with Sharpton to organize a march to commemorate the Watts riots of 40 years ago. The Alliance will also sponsor community forums, outreach to schools and enlist the help of policymakers to further the cause.
The Águila Negra Awards, which are also sponsored by LFSA, were given to this year’s recipients at the luncheon. Dr. Ruth Banda-Ralph was awarded the Community Service Award for her work as an educator and mentor to students. The CSUDH alumna (Class of ’78, B.A., political science) is the faculty coordinator of the First Year Experience and Learning Communities at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif. Banda-Ralph served her alma mater as retention coordinator for student affirmative action programs from 1980 to 1988 and assistant director of university outreach and information services from 1988 to 2000.
Psychologists Dr. Monica Rosas-Baines and Dr. Denna Sanchez received the Educación, Justicia e Igualdad (Education, Justice and Equality) Award for their work in the Dominguez Hills Student Development Center. In addition, the Student Leadership Award was given to both Erick Garcia and Rafael Martínez. Garcia, a business administration major, serves as the chair of the Loker Student Union board of directors. Martínez is president of the Dominguez Hills chapter of Phi Iota Alpha, which was a key organizer of the events for last fall’s Latino Heritage Month.
The afternoon’s program was presided over by Teri Abbott, director of the Center for Teaching Careers, Dr. Miguel Dominguez, chair and professor of modern languages, and Ivonne Heinze-Balcazar, assistant professor of modern languages and interim director of the Women’s Resource Center. Traditional music was provided for the event by Marcos Loya, lecturer, Chicana/o studies and his campus group, Conjun Toro.
“Now in its seventh year, the Tardeada honors and recognizes students, faculty, staff and community members who have demonstrated the principles and ideals of the great humanitarian,” says David Gamboa, director of government and community relations, University Advancement, who attended the event. “It also recognizes the importance of a man who changed society through the public’s perspective of equal labor rights for all people, regardless of their stature in the workplace.”
- Joanie Harmon
Photos above: CSUDH President Mildred García speaks to the campus community in honor of César Chávez.
Maya Banda, administrative assistant, Academic Programs, is congratulated by Miguel Dominguez,
professor and chair of modern languages, as she accepts the Community Service Award
on behalf of her mother, CSUDH alumna Ruth Banda-Ralph (Class of ’78, B.A., political science).
Banda-Ralph is the faculty coordinator of the First Year Experience and Learning Communities
at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif.
Psychologists Dr. Monica Rosas-Baines (at left) and Dr. Denna Sanchez received
the Educación, Justicia e Igualdad (Education, Justice and Equality) Award for their work
in the Dominguez Hills Student Development Center.
Senior Erick Garcia received the Student Leadership Award for his work as the chair of the board
of directors for the Loker Student Union.
Rafael Martínez also received the Student Leadership Award as the president of the
Dominguez Hills chapter of Phi Iota Alpha.
All photos by GK