Sixth annual Peace Picnic Thursday will include talk by Latino scholar Carlos Munoz

Sixth annual Peace Picnic Thursday will include talk by Latino scholar Carlos Munoz

The sixth annual University of St. Thomas Peace Picnic this Thursday, May 4, will have a slightly different twist this year, with the addition of a speaker who is a nationally respected expert on civil rights and multiculturalism.

Latino scholar Dr. Carlos Munoz Jr., a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, originally was scheduled to speak at St. Thomas on April 19. His talk had to be canceled due to illness, but it has been rescheduled to now be part of the Peace Picnic.

Dr. Carlos Munoz Jr.

Munoz, founding chair of the nation’s first Chicano studies department at California State University in 1968, will discuss “Diversity and the Struggle for Social Justice” at the picnic from noon to 1 p.m. on Foley Plaza on the university’s lower quadrangle.

The picnic itself will run from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Foley Plaza. All are welcome, and in case of rain, everything will move next door to the third-floor lounge (Room 304) of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

The picnic will feature free food from Trotter’s Café and Bakery.

There will be booths or tables from local sustainable businesses such as 10,000 Villages and Coat of Many Colors; peace and justice organizations such as Women Against Military Madness, Twin Cities Neighbors for Peace, Friends for a Nonviolent World, and Veterans for Peace; and St. Thomas clubs and organizations such as Students for Justice and Peace, ADJUST (Action for the Development of a Just University of St. Thomas), Poetry Slam St. Thomas, and Green Team.

The event brings together the support and planning skills of a number of St. Thomas groups and departments: Multicultural Student Services, Students for Justice and Peace, University Lectures Committee and Center for Faculty Development.

In his talk, Munoz will discuss multiculturalism and will encourage students to acknowledge diverse perspectives. He has been involved in the civil and human rights, social justice and peace movements since his days as a student in the 1960s.

Munoz is the founding chair of the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies. He is an expert on ethnic and racial politics, multiculturalism, immigration and affirmative action.

Munoz, who has spoken at major universities throughout the country, last year was honored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education for “educating others and inspiring them in the pursuit of their goals.” He also has been honored for his work by the American Political Science Association and the University of Michigan, which presented him its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks Award.

Munoz is one of 28 civil rights activists honored in a traveling national exhibit, “The Long Walk to Freedom.”

He is the author of Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement. Now in its 12th printing, the book received the Gustavus Myers Book Award and was a resource for a PBS television series. He is working on several new books, including Diversity and the Challenge for a Multiracial Democracy in America and The Latino Experience in Major League Baseball.

Munoz has appeared on all major broadcast and cable television networks; his newspaper columns are distributed nationally by Knight-Ridder.

He was born in the “segundo barrio” in El Paso and raised in the barrios of east Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from California State University and his doctorate in government from Claremont Graduate School. He is professor emeritus in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

More information about Munoz is available here. For more information about his visit to St. Thomas, call the Multicultural Student Services office, (651) 962-6460.