Expanding on the Miné Okubo Collection, history and the arts, and social justice in the Inland Empire…

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Exodus 2

Immigration has become one of the most important and contentious issues of our time. While undocumented migrants cross borders seeking a better life, the human cost of migration can be high. Border crossers risk injury, attack, rape, and death, while undocumented workers often toil under dangerous and exploitative conditions in the United States.

These harsh realities constitute the heart of Exodus/Éxodo, a powerful series of photographs by Julián Cardona that puts a human face on migration in the face of state violence and borders across which goods, but not people, are allowed to move freely. Exodus/Éxodo documents the forced modern-day exodus of people from Mexico to the United States. According to the United Nations, nearly 60 million people are currently displaced by conflict and persecution in an unprecedented series of worldwide migrations. Cardona’s photographs offer a distinctive perspective on our regional participation in this global story.

Cardona’s images embody the fear and violence that plague many Mexican border towns in the context of low-wage maquiladoras and the drug trade, creating a visual narrative of the migrants who risk their lives crossing the desert between Mexico and the United States, and the realities of life beyond the crossing.


This exhibit, on loan to the Center from the Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice from November 1, 2015 through February 20, 2016, provides an intimate look into the human cost of so many journeys in search of a better future.

This post was contributed by student worker Cynthia Mosely.


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Celebrate Dia de los Muertos on First Sundays at the Center!

We had a great time on October 4th starting off the 2015-2016 season of First Sundays programs – our visitors took the project of creating an abstract collage to such fun and imaginative new levels!!

10_4 Abstract Collage 10_4 LIFE

A special thanks to our UCR Gluck Fellow Kelly Filreis and her assistant Angela for making it such a success.

For our November First Sundays activity, we will be celebrating Dia de los Muertos by making Calavera skull masks to wear. Dia de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, but strongly associated with Mexico where the tradition originated. Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a set of customs that combine indigenous Aztec rituals with the Catholicism brought to the region by Spanish conquistadors.

Since the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities that lost loved ones enjoyed in life. This event recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their friends and family.

The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos  is the Calavera: a representation of a human skull. Calaveras made of sugar are a common gift for children and decoration on Dia de los Muertos altars.We will be decorating skull templates with crayons, markers, stickers, and feathers, and then attaching them to masks that can be worn. All ages are welcome, so bring the whole family! The activity takes place on November 1st from 1-4pm.

Dia de los Muertos 2_Release

First Sundays is a seasonal series of free family programs featuring different activities for children and teens at seven locations in downtown. Sponsored by the Riverside Arts Council.

This post was contributed by student worker Cynthia Mosley.

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Honoring the DELANO MANONGS at RCC on 10/27

In celebration of Larry Itliong Day and Filipino American History Month, the Center will host a screening of a remarkable new documentary, Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers, at 6pm in the Digital Library Auditorium at Riverside City College. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with the director of the film, Marissa Aroy.Philip_Vera_Cruz_and_Larry_Itliong

On September 8, 1965, Filipino American grape workers, members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, walked out on strike against Delano-area table and wine grape growers. They were protesting years of poor pay and unsafe working conditions. The Filipino workers asked Cesar Chavez, who led a mostly Latino farm workers union, the National Farm Workers Association, to join their strike.

Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong at Delano, Calif., July 28, 1967.  (AP Photo/Harold Filan)

Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong at Delano, Calif., July 28, 1967. (AP Photo/Harold Filan)

This film tells the story of Larry Itliong and the group of Filipino farm workers, known as manongs, who instigated one of the American farm labor movement’s finest hours–the Delano Grape Strike of 1965. This strike brought about the creation of the United Farms Workers Union (UFW). While the movement is known for Cesar Chavez’s leadership and often considered a Chicano movement, Filipinos played a pivotal role.

Explore this little-known history of a moment that changed California, the nation, and the history of the American labor movement!

Please contact the Center at 951-222-8846 or socialjustice@rccd.edu to obtain your temporary parking permit for the RCC campus during the event.

This post was contributed by student worker Cynthia Mosely.