5th César Chávez Convocation


Wednesday, May 14, 2008
7 PM at the College Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room
University of California, Santa Cruz

Guillermo Gomez-Pena

EL MEXORCIST 3: America's Most Wanted Inner Demon
A new solo performance and final in the Mexorcist Trilogy


Lilly Pinedo, Program Coordinator, Chicano Latino Resource Center, 831/459-5449 and Jose Olivas, Coordinator of Co-Curricular Programs, College Ten, 831/459-5854

The Convocation honors the memory of César Chávez, his achievements, commitment to social justice/civil rights, his unrelenting efforts to cultivate grassroots leadership, and his successful formation of the United Farmworkers Union (UFW). This year, performance artist/writer Guillermo Gómez-Peña, artistic director of La Pocha Nostra, will be our honorary guest for the 5th annual César Chávez Convocation and will perform EL MEXORCIST 3.

Born in 1955 and raised in Mexico City, he came to the US in 1978 and received both his B.A. (1981) and M.A. (1983) from California Institute of the Arts; he also studied Linguistics and Latin American Literature at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, Mexico City).

One of the most important and provocative performing artist/activists working today, Gómez-Peña was the first Latino to win the MacArthur 'genius' grant. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT).

His work, explores cross-cultural issues between the United States and Latin America by revealing the labyrinths of identity and the precipices of nationality. He does this by illustrating them through performance art, video, audio, installations, poetry, journalism, critical writings, and cultural theory. Gómez-Peña is considered an interdisciplinary intellectual whose projects and books explores borders and cultural matters in the mainstream of the U.S. and Latin America. His work exposes immigration, cross-cultural identity, and the confrontation and misunderstandings between cultures and races.
In his performance of El Mexorcist 3, el brujo-poeta-activista Guillermo Gómez-Peña denounces the anti-immigration hysteria and assaults the demonized construction of the US/Mexico border-a literal and symbolic zone lined with Minute Men, rising nativism, three ply fences, globalization, and transnational identities.

Following the performance, we open the doors to participatory engagement through a Town Hall Meeting on Social Justice that will be facilitated by Gómez-Peña. The audience will be invited to an "Open Mic" where they can "speak up" and "talk back." Audience members can share a personal story, voice an opinion, ask a question, pose an issue, or read a piece of their own poetry. It is an opening to what we hope will be meaningful community dialogue.
In past year's honorary guests for the César Chávez Convocation have been Dolores Huerta, (2004) a legendary union organizer and nationally recognized advocate for women and the poor; as well as, renowned playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and director Luís Valdez (2005), the United Farm Workers president, Arturo Rodriquez(2006), and executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, María Elena Durazo(2007). This year we are honored to have Guillermo Gómez-Peña as our guest.

The community is invited to join us for the 5th Annual César Chávez Convocation as we explore the role of performance art as a form of activism and a platform for engaging social justice issues.
The Convocation is production of the College Ten Co-Curricular Programs Office, EL CENTRO: Chicano Latino Resource Center and Community and Resource Empowerment (CARE) Council at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

To learn more about the work of Guillermo Gómez-Peña we encourage you to read "Border Hysteria and the War against Difference". In this piece, Gómez-Peña articulates a passionate defense of "undocumented" immigrants, post-national identity and a multiracial USA. This text-in-progress is part of the borderless movement of citizen journalism circulating in cyberspace. You can access this article here.

Sponsors of this event include: The Center for Labor Studies, Chicano Latino Research Center (CLRC) , Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Division of Graduate Studies and the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), Oakes College and Porter College. Co-sponsors include: Cowell, Crown, Kresge, Merrill and Stevenson Colleges, Crown Oakes, and College Eight Student Senates, the Division of Student Affairs and Rainbow Theatre.