Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 1:02 pm | A Few Clouds 71º


UCSB Commemorates 40th Anniversary of El Plan de Santa Barbara

Conference includes speakers, film festival and panel discussions

In April 1969, a group of Chicano students, professors and community activists met at UCSB for a historic conference that would mark an important milestone in California’s Chicano history. The conference resulted in El Plan de Santa Barbara (The Santa Barbara Plan), which served as a blueprint for the establishment of Chicano studies programs throughout the University of California system, and of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.), a statewide organization of Chicano students.

Forty years later, another conference at UCSB will commemorate that 1969 civil rights action. “The 40th Anniversary of El Plan de Santa Barbara,” presented by El Congreso, the campus’s official M.E.Ch.A. chapter, will take place Friday through Sunday. The public is invited to attend, and registration is $10 for community members and free for high school students.

The conference begins on Friday with an opening reception and Noche de Cultura at 6 p.m. at Mosher Alumni House that will examine and revisit the strategies and goals expressed in El Plan de Santa Barbara. The conference will continue on Saturday with keynote addresses by Graciela Molina DePic and Alan Gomez. DePic, an educational reformer and feminist leader, will speak at 9:10 in Campbell Hall. Gómez, an assistant professor in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, will follow at 9:40 a.m.

Saturday’s events will also include two important panel discussions. At 10:15 a.m., Guz Chavez, María Marin, Richard Valencia, and Armando Vasquez will offer a historical perspective of El Plan de Santa Barbara. At 11 a.m., Trina Vasquez, Joaquin Sinfregos, and Juan Gochez will provide a critical analysis. Among the other special events are La Pachanga, El Carnaval, and the Guerrilla Rasquache Film Festival.

“This educational conference will bring together generations of students, faculty, professionals and community members to celebrate the gains made since 1969, evaluate the current state of Chicana/o Studies and shape an agenda for the future,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “We are grateful to our UCSB alumni and current students for their support, over time, in recruiting and retaining Latino students. As Arnulfo Casillas, the first chair of El Congreso, is often quoted by students, ‘Keeping the Doors Open for All Those Yet to Come’ has become a shared motto for our campus community.”

“From a broad perspective, the purpose of the conference is to celebrate El Plan de Santa Barbara, which was developed in 1969,” said Ruben Rey, a UCSB alumnus and member of the committee organizing the conference. “A more focused purpose, however, is to understand that 40 years after the blueprint was developed, the presence of Latinos and Chicanos on college campuses has increased but there are still issues in our community that need to be addressed. Forty years have passed, but there are still challenges and we need to have dialogues and discourse about these issues to keep moving forward.”

Click here for more information about the conference.


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