A panel of professors and students will discuss student activism and walkouts tonight (May 4) as part of the Semana de la Raza Cinco de Mayo celebration under way at California State University, Fresno this week.

“Chicano Student Movements: Then and Now” is the theme of the panel discussion that will follow a showing of the HBO movie “Walkout” that aired March 18 on cable.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union (Maple and San Ramon Avenues south of Barstow Avenue). Admission is free. The 110-minute movie will be presented first with the one-hour panel discussion at approximately 8 p.m.

The film and discussion are sponsored by the Chicano Latin-American Studies Department and Cineculture. The movie, directed by Edward James Olmos, tells the true story of a group of Chicano students who staged a compelling walkout in 1968 to protest the injustices of the public high-school system in East Los Angeles.

Panel description provided by organizers: “In 1968 Chicano youth took to the streets to protest an educational system that oppressed them. In 2006 Chicano/Latino youth once again have taken to the streets to protest social injustice. Are we witnessing the resurgence of Chicano/Latino student activism? Will the current movement have a lasting impact on US culture and society, or is it simply a transient events?”

The panelists are:

• Dr. Carlos Perez, chair of Chicano and Latin American Studies;

• Professor Ernesto Martinez, long-time faculty and founding member of the Chicano and Latin American Studies Department (originally La Raza Studies);

• Elizabeth Trujillo, a Fresno State student who is the president of the student club Campus Peace; and

• Anthony Yrigollen, also a Fresno State student leader and organizer of recent campus rallies including Monday’s immigration rally in the Free Speech Area.

Fresno State’s annual Semana de /a Raza celebration concludes Friday, May 5, with the Cinco de Mayo Faire — Dia de los Chicanitos (Children’s Day) — from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Maple Mall, south of the Satellite Student Union. Area school children will be treated to crafts, activities and piñatas. At 7 p.m., the movie “Smoke Signals” will be shown in the McLane 221, sponsored by Cineculture. For more information on Semana de La Raza, contact MEChA at fresnostatemechayahoo.com.

For details about tonight’s panel, contact Dr. Victor Torres, associate professor in the Chicano and Latin American Studies Dept., 559.278.2848.