By Eliot Howard, Associate Director, Student Leadership Development and Reichel Hamm, Master’s Student in Social Work; photos courtesy of Enrique Trevino and Reichel Hamm.
Citizens from across the city united this past Saturday morning along Avenida Guadalupe, and a large contingent of UTSA community members were among them, marching to commemorate the life and work of the famous labor organizer and civil rights leader, César Chávez.
The Center for Civic Engagement, the College of Public Policy Social Work Department and the Student Leadership Center each helped bring students, faculty and staff from the Main and Downtown campuses to show solidarity with the larger community supporting themes of social and economic justice.
In addition to the more than 30 Roadrunners marching around a UTSA banner, our group encountered numerous others along the way cheering and sharing things like “I’m a Roadrunner too! So glad to see you’re out here!”
Students reflected on how this experience helped them develop as leaders. Giovanna Valverde, Senior Public Administration & Legal Studies had this to say: “Every chance I am given to engage with my peers and university leadership, helps me to personally further UTSA's mission of spreading knowledge through public service. “
“As a graduate student in the College of Public Policy,” Enrique Trevino said, “the march shapes me as a leader by allowing me to reach out to the community as an ambassador of UTSA to promote social justice. The march enriches my education in social justice as an insider to the event.”
Reichel Hamm, a Master’s of Social Work student, said “This year's César Chávez march furthered my development as a leader because I helped organize UTSA participation, in conjunction with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Antonio.” She highlighted that her program’s mission, to construct culturally competent social workers and involved in the San Antonio community, made this event a perfect fit for students and faculty. Social Work Assistant Professors Alfred Pérez and Lucinda Nevarez were also among the marchers underscoring that committed conection.
Hamm also appreciated how “events like the César Chávez march contribute to my education because they put the issues discussed in class into concrete perspective. It shows that voices matter and that people matter.” “Events like this march contribute to helping UTSA fulfill its mission and advance to Tier One because it shows the community that we are involved with past and present issues that are important with society.”
Going Tier One - “si se puede!”