San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies, lead by dean Kenneth Monteiro, will honor various individuals today at Medjool restaurant for their contribution to civil rights and ethnic studies. Award recipients are Dolores Huerta, Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Janice Mirikitani, Jerry Varnado and siblings Paula Gunn Allen, Lee Francis III and Carol Lee Sanchez Allen.
How were the winners picked? Each person we choose, we choose them not just because of their individual contribution, but because they are people who worked with a piece of the movement.
What does each one of these people have in common? We’re trying to hold up examples of ordinary people who made extraordinary impacts on the course of history. Every one of these people is unpretentious.
What does this mean to the next generation of civil-rights activist? We want to model to every young person no matter what their color is, their circumstance, their gender. They see these things on television. People who made a big difference are painted as if they were superheroes. Martin Luther King was an average minister who took his place in history.