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August 23rd, 2019

cesar chavez display previewELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times


Cesar Chavez became a major figure in activism among the Hispanic community through his work to improve conditions for workers, immigrants and other people facing harsh injustices and soon, a display chronicling his life and work will be making its way to Liberal thanks to the staff at the Seward County Community College library. 

The display, which consists of 38 individual photos and anecdotes about different points in Chavez’s life (beginning with his christening as an infant) will be called ‘In His Own Words’ and will run Sept. 17 to Oct. 15 at different points throughout the college campus. 

“What we’re planning is it won’t actually be here in the library itself but we’ll have some photos in the display case by the east entrance of this building, we’ll have some photos in the display case by The Crusader offices, and we’re also looking to see if we can use some other display cases around campus and have it be almost like a walking tour,” SCCC Library Director Lindsay Tuman explained of staff’s plans for the display. “We’ll also be using the case in the Shank Humanities building. It’s going to be really cool when everything gets fully set up.”

Overall, Tuman said, it was actually a rather easy choice to bring the photo display right to Liberal for students at the college and members of the community to look at. 

“The technician in charge of the marketing and programming and all of that, she’s been great about exploring what all is out there and what we can use to tie everything together with the different celebrations each month and she found this at Humanities Texas and we lucked out because it wasn’t reserved anywhere else for Hispanic Heritage Month and she’d actually gotten it officially reserved for us about a year ago, so we’ve been planning this for quite some time,” Tuman said. “We felt it would be of great interest to our students and faculty and community members, we thought it would draw a lot of people in.”

Tuman added staff is excited for the display to come up and there were several different factors that went into bringing it to SCCC. 

“First off, it’s great how it’s a display and it’ll be on display for a month. For our students and teachers who have class at noon and around that time, they can’t make it to those so this way, people can walk around the display when they have time and they don’t have to work their schedule around when they want to see it,” Tuman said. “It’s great there’s that flexibility. Also, we thought the message coming from this and the history behind it and the importance of everything he did, it would be very powerful to see and learn about because a lot of people may remember learning about what he did in school, but they don’t fully understand a lot of what he did or his importance to the migrant worker movement. So we thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about what he did and what influenced him and how he influenced others and how he worked to help people. It’s very important for them to realize the struggle those people experienced. And not just the migrant workers but also any groups who have struggled to realize what all has been done and why it’s so important to work together to achieve a goal. It’s important for people to understand history and different cultures and see what’s happened to get to where we are today.”

Tuman said she is also looking forward to seeing interactions with the display. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing discussions on how influential he was and seeing how our patrons react to it and what they think,” Tuman said. “What we’re planning to do is have an outline of the ‘path’ they’ll follow with the photos so they can see the chronology of everything in his life so that way it’ll be more powerful and meaningful for people who go through and they can see how his ideas were shaped and how he shaped others’ ideas and what created his drive to improve conditions. This display, just like our other library events, is completely free and I hope a lot of people will take advantage of it. There’s no costs to come and look at the displays and anytime the buildings are open, it’ll be available for people to look at any way they want.”

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