The Jess Nieto Memorial Conference is an annual event honoring the memory of Professor Jesus "Jess" Gilberto Nieto. A noted internationalist, entrepreneur, civil rights, and educational leader, Nieto was responsible for establishing a Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College and was the first advisor for the campus’ MEChA chapter. His influence and legacy at BC are still visible in the college’s course offerings related to Latinx history and experience as well as various student organizations and services on campus. In the spirit of Professor Nieto’s work, this conference focuses on Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and regional cultures and histories, Ethnic Studies, community service and activism, pedagogical practices, and student thought and identity.
If you wish to donate to support next year's Nieto Conference, visit the Bakersfield College Foundation's donation page. To ensure that your donation goes to the correct account, select "Other" and enter "Jess Nieto Memorial Conference Fund" in the box asking you to identify the fund you wish to support, or you can make your donation by phone by calling (661) 395-4800.
The conference concluded on March 31, 2022, Cesar Chavez Day, and all events are now available for viewing on the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute's YouTube channel. You can watch the entire conference as a complete playlist, or you can refer to the links in the schedule below to watch individual sessions. See you next year for the 5th Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference!
(Watch the complete playlist of the 4th Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference)
Conference Welcome by Diego Nieto
Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/ Revolución en los Campos Student Art Show and Contest, co-sponsored by The Arts Council of Kern
Contest information presented by Joseph Tipay, Professor of Art with DJ Ome Quetzal Lopez
BCSGA presentation on the student mural project with SGA Officers reflecting on their experience panting two murals with input from artist Shanara Cruz-Wilson
Local artist spotlights on Shanara Cruz-Wilson and Jorge Guillen
(Watch the Conference Welcome and Student Art Presentation)
From Renegade to Triton: Dr. Manuel Vargas’ Educational Journey and Work as a Philosopher
Dr. Manuel Vargas is a professor of philosophy at UC San Diego, and he is an alumnus of Bakersfield College. He talks about the trajectory of his career from BC to the present day and discuss his research and work as a philosopher.
(Watch From Renegade to Triton)
Panel: Student Activism and Civic Engagement: Past and Present
A panel of current members and alumni from Latinas Unidas, L.U.P.E., and the BC Student Government Association discuss the work they have done and continue to do in their respective communities and how their experiences with BC student orgs have influenced them.
(Watch Student Activism and Civic Engagement)
Panel: New Research in Latina/o Studies
BC faculty members Brenda Valadez (Communication) and Omar Gonzalez (History) and BC alumnus and University of Chicago PhD candidate Linda Esquivel present on their research and work in their respective fields with Dr. Abraham Castillo, Educational Advisor at Bakersfield College, moderating.
(Watch Research in Latina/o Studies)
Digital Stewardship and the Farmworker Movement: Preserving the Kouns and Clarke Archives at CSU Northridge
Dr. José Luis Benavides, Professor of Journalism and director of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at CSU Northridge, discusses his National Endowment for the Humanities project in which he is digitizing and archiving collections of photographs by John Kouns and Emmon Clarke whose work documented the Farmworker Movement in the mid-20th century.
(Watch Digital Stewardship and the Farmworker Movement)
Film Presentation and Panel: Cesar Chavez, the Farmworker Movement, and the Legacy of Ghandi's Commitment to Nonviolent Activism
After premiering a short documentary on the legacy of nonviolent protest in the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi that influenced Farmworker Movement leader Cesar Chavez, a group of students featured in the film and the film's director, Juan Rodriguez, discuss their experiences during the making of the documentary and what they learned as they toured sites of historical importance to the Farmworker Movement in Kern County. Special presentations featuring poet and artist Jorge Guillen and a photographic tribute to Dr. Jess Nieto conclude the conference.
(Watch the Film Presentation and Panel)