STOCKTON CA — Former California Supreme Court Justice, Cruz Reynoso, Attorney Maurice “Mo” Jourdane, and filmmaker Abby Ginzberg visited for a film screening and discussion on, “Sowing the Seeds of Justice: the Story of Cruz Reynoso,” at the University of the Pacific through the Mexican Heritage Center on the evening of Thursday, March 31, 2011; Cesar Chevaz’s birthday.
“I was inspired to produce Sowing the Seeds of Justice following my admiration for Cruz Reynoso,” shared Ginzberg as she expressed her concern about the community need for understanding Reynoso’s struggles for social justices. “The reason I made it was to share Cruz’s story with a large community but particularly with Latino‘s who may be too young to have ever heard of him .” In less than a year, the film won a Gold Davey Award, an Accolade Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, and a Jury Award for the Best Feature Documentary in the Sacramento Film and Music Festival.
Sowing the Seeds of Justice captures Cruz Reynoso’s journey; from childhood, he was born into a Spanish-speaking farm worker family; to his struggles to get an education; to becoming the first Latino Director of California Rural Legal Assistance; and ascending to the California Supreme Court —becoming the first Latino justice on that bench— following his appointment by Governor Jerry Brown. “I believe there are two Latino heroes in our era Cesar Chavez and Cruz Reynoso,” shared Maurice “Mo” Jourdane.
Cruz Reynoso’s humble and firm tone of voice filled the Janet Leigh Theatre as he addressed many questions regarding immigration, education, religion, government, and his experiences through his journey. Through the evening his message was constant — never give-up. “When I was defeated out of the Supreme Court I was clear about loosing in politics but never defeated as a person,” Reynoso explained his continual battle for social justice post his defeat out of the Supreme Court Seat. Reynoso and two other justices lost their seat in a heated recall campaign which used the death penalty as the central issues.
Reynoso received the country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton, for his lifelong devotion to public service. He presently teaches law at the University of California (UC) Davis, Law School and continues to actively participate in community organizations throughout the State of California.
“The only way to equality is through education.” Reynoso concluded the night by addressing the future of civil rights.
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