Celebrating Cesar Chavez Day, University of CA, Office of the President

On Wednesday, March 29th, I was the guest speaker at a lunchtime event sponsored by the Latino Staff Association/Asian Pacific Islander Association affinity groups at the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP). The event, entitled, “When Mexicans and Filipinos Join Together: The Farmworker Movement and Unity in the Making,” was in celebration of Cesar Chavez Day. After reading an excerpt from my novel, A Village in the Fields, I sat down with Belinda Vea, Policy and Program Analyst in Student Affairs for UCOP who did her graduate work on Filipino literature, in an “in conversation” question-and-answer session. Belinda is also co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Association.

Among other topics, Belinda asked me about the research process and my family’s story within the novel. The floor was opened up to questions from the audience, which numbered between 45 and 50, which was really nice to see. It was gratifying not only to respond to such thoughtful questions, but to see the interest in people’s faces. In addition to UCOP employees, the event was also advertised to employees from Kaiser Permanente, whose building was across the street in downtown Oakland.

I’m posting photos taken of the event, with gratitude to the photographers, Juliann Martinez, Employee Relations Specialist and chair of the Latino Staff Association, who kindly extended the invitation to speak, Alina Tejera, Pamela Palpallatoc, and Ben Tsai, co-chair with Belinda of the APIA.

The flyer advertising the event.
A wonderful poster welcoming the audience.
A nice spread of Filipino and Mexican cuisine.
A terrific slide show of Filipino and Mexican farm workers was shown before the event.
Reading an excerpt from my novel.
A close-up of my reading.
Belinda Vea “in conversation” with me after my reading.
Belinda at the ready with her questions.
One of the things I talked about was the value taking Asian American Studies classes at UC Davis both in my personal life and in my writing.
An animated me answering a questions while the audience leans in.
A beautiful basket of vegetables and two of my books were raffle prizes at the end of the event.
Me with Pamela Palpallatoc, who works for UCOP and is a UC Davis alumna.
Talking beyond the lunch hour about Filipino American history.





Belinda Vea, Ben Tsai, me, and Juliann Martinez.

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