Speakers draws crowd with powerful message

Palomar College President Robert Deegan recieves recgnition from Chicano Studies Professor John Valdez during the Civil Rights Festival held in the Student Union Quad Wednesday, April 16, 2014. President Deegan was regognized for his support of the multicultural department. Monica Dattage/The-Telescope

Palomar College President Robert Deegan recieves recgnition from Chicano Studies Professor John Valdez during the Civil Rights Festival held in the Student Union Quad Wednesday, April 16, 2014. President Deegan was recognized for his support of the multicultural department. Monica Dattage/The-Telescope

Civil Rights have always been on the forefront of conversation in the United States as well as other countries around the world.

April 16 marked the day Palomar students, faculty and staff came together to celebrate and take action for their own civil rights. The Civil Rights Festival was held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the free speech area in front of the clock tower.

The event, organized by long time Chicano’s studies professor John Valdez, was able to draw in students on their way to and from classes, resulting in nearly every seat being filled.

The day started with speakers and was rounded out with musical performances. The lineup of speakers included professors, former students, as well as current students like Fawad Mohamad.

Mohamad, 22, spoke of the struggles he encountered as a result of being born in the middle of a civil rights battle in Afghanistan. He and his family became refugees that had to fight for every right they had.

Mohamad mentioned how lucky we are to live in a nation that doesn’t care about gender or ethnicity. “You are born and given civil rights, there are billions of people who would die for that.”

The list of speakers was concluded by former Palomar student Rolando Moreno who attended in 1968. Moreno has since dedicated his career to bring accessible law resources to Chicanos and Latinos, not only here in the United States, but Canada as well.

Moreno’s main goal of his speech was to challenge students.

“Students have the power to create change on their own,” Moreno said. “Chicanos and Latinos are no longer the minority. We need to delete that word from our vocabulary.”

Moreno continued on to say to his audience of students and faculty alike, “You can make a difference. You can do it if you focus on what you want.”

In addition to the captivating speakers, the event took care of students by providing free food and water.

Author: Monica Dattage

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