“California Dreamin”: The start of something beautiful

Hilario Gomez, Reporter

Two local professors received nearly two hundred thousand dollars through a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant with the aim to invest back into the community through multiple workshops.

Oliver Rosales, a history professor at Bakersfield College since 2012, and Adam Sawyer, assistant professor of teacher education and director of the Liberal Studies program at California State University Bakersfield, are the two professors who will head the project amply named “California Dreamin: Migration, Work, and Settlement in the ‘other’ California”. The workshops will attempt to shed more light upon and recognize the historical significance of the San Joaquin Valley and the bits of history wrapped within it that get lost on the shuffle in the classroom. When reached out for comment, Dr. Rosales was ecstatic about what the grant could mean now and in the future for the community.

​Our hope is that the grant has a significant impact on our local community, most notably by highlighting the interconnectedness of historical landmarks in our rural communities here in the San Joaquin Valley,” Rosales stated. “We hope the grant will stimulate local interest in these local historical landmarks (Allensworth, various sites in Delano associated with the farmworker movement, Sunset Labor Camp, and La Paz [National Chavez Center]).”

“We look forward to creating a space for teacher collaboration to leverage these rich rural historical landmarks into their classrooms to empower students and showcase the diverse and rich history of California’s agricultural labor history,” Rosales said when asked about the future of these workshops.

Dr. Sawyer reciprocated those sentiments and spoke nothing but the highest of praises for his colleague, Dr. Rosales.

“I will just add that myself and the Department of Teacher Education and Liberal Studies Program at CSUB are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with a scholar of Dr. Rosales’ stature.” 

The project has a projected start for the summer of 2022 and hopes to continue for many years to come.