Dr. César A. Cruz is a true Oakland education innovator. From marching 76-straight miles, to hunger striking for 26 days, César has dedicated his life to fighting for justice. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and migrated to the U.S. at a young age with a single mother and grandmother. He grew up in South Central L.A. and moved to the Bay Area to study. César graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in History. He has been an educator for 23 years, in positions of leadership for the last 17 years. He co-founded the independent school, Making Changes, out of his home, and has sought to create autonomous education spaces. He is proud to have overseen the Homies Empowerment Program serving gang impacted/involved youth in Oakland, CA. and now they are in the process of developing a school. He is the author of two books, Revenge of the Illegal Alien, and Bang for Freedom. He received his doctorate in Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, becoming the first Mexican immigrant male to do so. In this episode, César connects his early and coming-of-age experiences to the groundbreaking work he is doing today that seeks to abolish the slavery that sometimes passes for the education of Oakland’s, and the nation’s children. For more information, check out www.thegrproject.com.
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