National scholar to keynote annual Chavez Scholarship fundraiser

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Photo of Ruben O. .

Martinez

KALAMAZOO—Southwest Michigan will celebrate the life and work of civil rights leader César E. Chávez this month through an annual scholarship fundraising dinner Saturday, March 23.

The Celebrating the Legacy of César E. Chávez scholarship fundraising dinner costs $40 and begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception followed by a 7 p.m. dinner in the Fetzer Center at Western Michigan University. Reservations will be accepted until Wednesday, March 20, but tickets will also be sold at the door.

This is the seventh year that WMU's Division of Multicultural Affairs has teamed with the Southwest Michigan César E. Chávez Day Committee and area businesses to sponsor a banquet on or around Chávez' March 31 birthday.

The event includes a keynote address, remarks by area dignitaries, and presentation of the Chávez day committee's annual Tri-Community Award and César E. Chávez Day Committee Scholarship. Proceeds go toward that $1,000 need-based scholarship, which is available to Michigan college or college-bound students living in Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

Presenting the 2013 keynote talk will be Rubén O. Martinez, director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. The institute's mission is to generate, disseminate and apply knowledge to serve the needs of Latino communities in the Midwest and across the nation.

This year's Tri-Community Award will be presented to Juan R. Muñiz of Kalamazoo, executive director of the International Media Exchange. Receiving scholarships will be Richard W. DeBoer of Lawton, Mich., and Lawton High School, and Miguel Rosas of Fennville, Mich., and Fennville High School.

To register for southwest Michigan's Chavez Day scholarship and awards dinner, call (269) 760-8138.

For more information, contact Miguel Ramirez in WMU's Division of Multicultural Affairs at miguel.ramirez@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4420.