Weeklong event features entertainment, discussions around Chicanx/Latinx community
The 48th annual La Raza Cultural Days (LRCD), a weeklong event of entertainment, educational workshops and lectures centered around the Chicanx/Latinx community, took place last month at UC Davis. Panels and discussions regarding topics such as immigration and queer latinidad occurred at the Student Community Center and various other locations on campus.
According to LRCD’s Facebook page, “La Raza Cultural Days is a week of educational programs, symposiums, conferences, workshops, lectures and entertainment that allows a space for a diverse community to come together to address social, cultural and political issues affecting our Chicanx/Latinx community.”
The week kicked off at noon on Monday, April 24 at the Memorial Union with a flash mob dance. Each subsequent day featured different campus organizations hosting panels and discussions with various special guests, including Brooklyn-based poet Christopher Soto, Sicangu Lakota, rapper Frank Waln and UC Davis faculty and staff members.
Robert Zuniga, a third-year environmental science and management major and member of El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán (MEChA) at UC Davis, said that LRCD offers a space for students to learn about the different aspects of campus that may not always be apparent.
“With Cultural Days, it’s a week long event, and the cool thing that’s very unique is that every single day it’s a different workshop hosted by a different organization,” Zuniga said. “LRCD does a really good job in terms of just like awareness, and so with the workshops held and with the discussion held, they touch upon things that you don’t really see on the exterior of campus, and that’s why I feel like it does a good job.”
Martin Robles, the associate director of technology for UC Davis Stores, spoke at a panel hosted by the Latino Staff and Faculty Association titled, “Our Own Stories of Existencia,” which featured guests who shared their experiences growing up in immigrant communities. Robles, who spoke on a panel of three, said that events like LRCD provide an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in different cultural experiences.
“I think these [events] are very important,” Robles said. “There’s so many things that people don’t know about our different cultures and the struggles that we all go through from one culture to the other. This is something that allows us to present our views and experiences, and that can definitely help a student or other students make it easier for them to get through the same struggles and get some enlightenment about what other people are doing.”
LRCD led up to the La Gran Tardeada on Saturday, April 29, a daylong event which featured music, food, dancing, a resource fair, featured headliner Buyepongo and other acts. That same day, MEChA hosted the annual Cuauhtemoc Run, which is a 5/10k run around the UC Davis Arboretum and a fundraiser for the Oscar E. Gomez Scholarship.
Zuniga said that the week offered students from other communities a space to learn about the various ways to help and interact with each other.
“A lot of students in classes who don’t require history courses and Chicanx [courses] I feel like Cultural Days can be open to students with different majors,” Zuniga said. “They can learn a little bit about what it means to be Chicano for example, or Chicana, or the problems that undocumented students are facing as well and what someone can do to support that, you know.”
Written by: Ivan Valenzuela — email@example.com