Two non-credit classes have been proposed by Oliver Rosales to the Bakersfield College Curriculum committee that will cover the history of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW) movement. Approval or denial of these courses was supposed to take place at the October 6 curriculum committee meeting however it was taken off of the agenda.
The classes would include teaching the history of migrant agricultural labor in one and the other would be to visit the National Chavez Center at La Paz, Forty Acres in Delano, and the Filipino Community Hall in Delano. Students who take these courses will acquire Cesar E. Chavez Leadership certificate.
Opposing the classes is a coalition of Bakersfield College professors led by Matthew Garrett called the Renegade Institute for Liberty. The coalition stated on their Facebook page that the courses “lack diversity of perspective” and that the course certification is equivalent to a participation trophy.
Rosales stated in a release that the courses are important for students to be able to see themselves in the curriculum.
“Bakersfield College can be at the forefront of ensuring that accessing these histories is a reality for generations to come,” said Rosales in the release discussing the importance of the classes. “Bakersfield College is also a Hispanic Serving Institution with a nearly 70% Latinx student population. It’s important for students to see themselves reflected in the curriculum, as well as monuments, museums, and heritage sites.
The next meeting for the approval of the classes is Thursday, October 20th on the Bakersfield College Main Campus in Room CC 231 at 2:30 p.m. The Dolores Huerta Foundation released a call to action asking the community members to submit public comments asking the committee to approve the proposed classes.