From Poverty to Empowerment: A Call To Action
Ethnic expert keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
By Jody Record, Media Relations
January 10, 2007
Carlos Munoz, MLK Jr. keynote speaker
A diversity expert who served as an advisor on Jesse Jackson’s 1988
presidential campaign has been chosen to deliver the commemorative address
during the university’s Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration.
Distinguished Latino scholar Carlos Muñoz, Jr., professor emeritus
in ethnic studies at Berkeley, was selected, in part, according to Jerianne
Boggis of the Multicultural Student Affairs office, because of his ability
to address the issue of poverty and empowerment, the theme of this year’s
Muñoz will present “Dr. King and His Legacy: Celebration, Remembrance,
and Action: Prioritizing the Issues of Poverty and Inequality in the Context
of the Struggle for a Multiracial Democracy,” Jan. 31, from 7 to 8:30
p.m. at the Johnson Theatre, Paul Creative Arts Center.
Addition celebratory events include a candlelight vigil Wednesday, Jan. 17,
from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at the MUB circle. At 6:30 p.m., the photo exhibit “Journey
to the Mountain Top: Poverty & the Working Poor in New Hampshire” will
be on display in the MUB.
On Sunday, Jan. 28, Arthur Hilson, pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church,
will present “Economic Justice: A Spiritual Celebration of the Legacy
and Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. during an interfaith
celebration at St. George's Episcopal Church, 1 Park Court, Main Street.
Muñoz will also sit on an educational panel taking place Thursday,
Feb. 1, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Strafford Room at the MUB. Panel members
will discuss the economic challenges facing refugees and other families here
in New Hampshire and poverty and empowerment in communities around the country.
A graduate of California State University at Los Angeles and the Claremont
Graduate University in Claremont, CA., Muñoz, was the founding chair
of the first Chicano studies department in the nation, launched at California
State in 1968. He was also the founding chair of the National Association of
Chicana & Chicano Studies.
The California resident was born in El Paso, Texas, the son of poor Mexican
immigrants. Raised in the barrios of East Los Angeles, he is the author of
numerous works on the Mexican American political experience and on African
American and Latino political coalitions, including “Youth, Identity,
Power: the Chicano Movement,” described by one reviewer as a critical
look at the origins and development of Chicano radicalism in America.
“Youth, Identity, Power” was a major resource for the PBS television
series “Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.” Muñoz
served as senior consultant for the project and was also featured in the program.
A leader in the founding of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, Muñoz
has been a strong advocate in the struggles for civil and human rights, social
justice, and peace in the United States and abroad since he was a student activist
in the 1960s. He was an organizer of various multiracial coalitions, including
the Faculty for Human Rights in Central America, Faculty Against Apartheid
in South Africa, and The Rainbow Coalition.
In 1988, he was a key advisor to the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign.
He served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of
Northern California and is a co-founder of the Institute for Multiracial Justice
in San Francisco.
He also co-founded Latinos Unidos, a grassroots community organization in
Berkeley. Muñoz, who served in Vietnam, is a member of the Veterans
for Peace and is active in the Counter-Military Recruitment in the Public Schools
Movement as well as in the larger Anti-Iraq War Movement.
< go back