Walking in history’s footsteps

Students walking on campus

Photo: David Schmitz

Activist Cesar Chavez once said “the end of all education should surely be service to others.”

As director of SJSU’s Cesar Chavez Community Action Center, Maribel Martinez, ’03 Political Science, ’12 MA Anthropology, helps students organize service and social justice activities that are not related to their coursework—from youth mentoring programs and fundraisers aimed at providing livestock to impoverished families, to panel discussions about social action- and service-focused jobs.

But, Martinez says, students often said to her: “Nothing ever happens on campus. Why has there never been any activism on campus?” Students were simply not aware that the campus community has rallied and rioted for peace, buried a car for environmental protection and demanded equality and civil rights for all.

Martinez set out to change that by uncovering and sharing the university’s history of social action. The result: the San Jose State Legacy Tour that she created in 2008. Students, alumni and visitors can walk along the university’s history-steeped paseos and learn about Spartans who have been standing up and demanding change—and justice. Take the tour. Perhaps you, too, will be inspired to take a stand.

Learn more and schedule a tour for your next campus visit.

Jody Ulate

Jody Ulate, '05 MA English, is editor of the Washington Square blog and printed alumni magazine.

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