Cruz Reynoso to address the role of Latinos in a changing America

Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso

In honor of the Cesar Chavez Holiday, UC San Diego’s Helen Edison Lecture Series is presenting an evening with former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 24 at the central San Diego Public Library located at 330 Park Blvd. in downtown San Diego. Parking and walking entrance is located at the corner of 11th Avenue and K Street (there is no entry from Park Blvd).

2 hours parking is free with validation, $3.75/hour (cash only) thereafter.

The free event is part of UC San Diego’s ongoing commitment over the last year to bring the campus to the community. There is limited seating and reservations may be made through Eventbrite at

Reynoso is a legal scholar, an internationally known civil rights leader and the first Latino to sit on the California Supreme Court. A child of farm workers, in the 1950s Reynoso worked alongside Cesar Chavez as a leader of the Community Service Organization (CSO) in Imperial County. The CSO conducted citizenship classes, voter registration campaigns, neighborhood improvement efforts, and resolved local, state, and national issues through citizen participation.

His talk titled “The Role of Latinos in a Changing America” will focus on the position of the largest minority in this country and the potential impact of this demographic on current issues, such as community service, police conduct, immigration and voting rights. Latinos have the highest employment rate of any ethnic and racial group, but are among poorest. Reynoso will talk about how this translates into societal divisions and how it can be changed.

Reynoso currently teaches at UC Davis Law School. He has served on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1980), The United States Commission on Human Rights (1993-2005), and was a Presidential appointee to the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy (1979-1981). In 2010 a documentary film, “Sowing the Seeds of Justice,” was made about his life and service.

The Helen Edison Lecture Series began in 1987 with a $500,000 endowment from Helen Edison in honor of the 25th anniversary of UC San Diego. A San Diego philanthropist with a great love for the arts and humanities, she spent much of her early life in St. Louis with her husband Simon, who founded the successful Edison Shoe chain.

Before she passed away in 1990, her wish was that the endowment be used to support free ongoing lectures at UC San Diego for “the benefit of the university campus as well as for the larger San Diego community.”

Attended annually by thousands, lecture series distinguished speakers have included such notables as former Vice President Al Gore, the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Pulitzer Prize winners Samantha Power and Evan Thomas, former secretary of defense Robert McNamara, presidential economic advisor John Kenneth Galbraith, and Nobel Prize in Literature winner Toni Morrison, just to name a few.

Posted: 2/26/2015 12:00:00 AM by UC San Diego Extension | with 0 comments
Filed under: Helen-edison, Helen-edison-lecture-series

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