This Interview is with César López, born August 23rd, 1974 in East Los Angeles. Cesar is currently tenured faculty at San Diego Mesa College and is also the Chair of the Chicano/Chicana Studies Department. Cesar highlights what growing up in a predominantly Latino and Asian multi-ethnic community was like during a period of rapid white flight as the immigrant community began moving in. He discusses the immigrant experience, kinship of family, financial hardships, the loss of his mother, and significance of home. His experiences played a significant role that led him to pursue a career that would center in education. César shines light on the history of San Diego Mesa’s Ethnic Studies department and the importance of community college programs that he hopes to further expand because he is a firm advocate that “Community college is the community”.
I was introduced to César through Professor, Yên Lê Espiritu, of UCSD’s Race and Oral History course. The Interview was conducted via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
My name is Paola Godinez, I am a 5th year at UCSD, graduating with a B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. I am passionate about this course as it allows me to explore oral histories that exist beyond the classroom and academic text.