Pedro R. Martinez, a Porterville City Council member and former mayor, will be the keynote speaker at the 36th annual Chican@ Youth Conference (CYC) at California State University, Fresno on Saturday, Jan. 17.
Registration is 8-9 a.m. at the Satellite Student Union (2485 E. San Ramon Ave.). Workshops and other activities continue until 4 p.m.
The free event is hosted by the student organization, El Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA) and University Outreach Services.
Workshops provide students information about resources available at the college and community levels on politics, culture, the environment, academics and the arts.
Entertainment includes Fresno State’s folkloric troupe, Los Danzantes de Aztlán, and the street theater troupe, El Teatro Chicano.
Martinez, a case worker for the Tulare County Child Protective Services, will talk about the Chicano movement, its impact on community and future potential. He was elected to the Porterville City Council in 2003 and served twice as mayor.
A native of Porterville, he graduated from Monache High School and attended Porterville College and College of the Sequoias in Visalia. He is an Army veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, earning service medals for valor and performance during the Gulf War.
He began his career in social work in Killeen, Texas, where he was named Hero of the City in 1994 for his work in gang and drug prevention.
In 1995, Martinez returned to the Porterville area, where he helped develop forums on gang and drugs identification and prevention techniques. His honors for contributions to youth and families include Tulare County Hispanic Roundtable’s Government Official of the Year and Fresno Chicano Youth Center’s Motivational Speaker of the Year.
The Chicano Youth Conference at Fresno State, established in 1972, is the oldest of its kind in California. Its first student chairperson, Frances Pena-Olgin, is now the director of University Outreach Services at Fresno State.
For more information, call 559.278.2048 or Kristina Hernandez at 559.305.2779.