The Man Spreading Pride for the 805

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The Man Spreading Pride for the 805

Kimberly Garcia, Contributor

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For a very long time, people outside of Oxnard, CA have had a negative mental image of the city; and after a while, many of its own population began to internalize negative ideas about Oxnard, too. Recently, however, one man has begun a movement to ignite pride within the people of Oxnard, in both their city and in their ethnic identities.

Martín Alberto Gonzalez Jr. was born and raised in Oxnard. He attended California State University, Northridge as an undergraduate and is currently seeking out a Ph.D. at Syracuse University. In 2017, Gonzalez published 21 Miles of Scenic Beauty… and Then Oxnard: Counterstories and Testimonies. Within the book is a collection of the author’s own experiences about the injustices people in Oxnard face, many of which those who reside outside of the city have never even heard of. With his book, Gonzalez helps educate the world about the truths of Oxnard and helps its citizens fight against their own internalized hatred towards their home.

Gonzalez is also the founder of ¡Viva Oxnard!, an organization that focuses on lifting up the citizens of Oxnard. It specifically targets the youth and students. The organization sells merchandise related to Gonzalez’s book as well as the popular culture of Oxnard, such as stickers, hats, posters, and shirts. The stickers help pay for college application fees for O.U.H.S.D.’s graduating classes. ¡Viva Oxnard! is also a source of information about what’s happening within the city; the team has gone to the city council to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement for high schoolers, has helped raise funding for recreational facilities that city council was trying to shut down, and is currently trying to help the Oxnard Performing Arts Center stay open after the given closing day of New Years’ Eve of 2019. With his organization, the author is promoting hometown pride amongst the residents of Oxnard and inspiring them to fight for their home.

Oxnard is often described as “a big city with a small-town feel,” and Martín Alberto Gonzalez Jr. is helping spread a big city-level of love and appreciation for the biggest city in the 805 region.

 

Information Source: VivaOxnard

Featured Image Source: Me

Image Source: Me

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