LAUSD dedicates school to long-time Latino activist and L.A. native
The L.A. Unified School District cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new school named after a man long considered to be an elder statesman among United States Latinos... whose roots are firmly planted in Los Angeles.
Julian Nava grew up in what he calls "the mixed barrio of East Los Angeles."
"Mexican background, Jewish background, Japanese background, Russian," listed Nava, ticking them off one by one before adding as an aside, "and also what we called 'American kids.'"
Nava saw combat with some of those kids in World War Two. He later earned a doctorate from Harvard, won election as the first Mexican-American on the L.A. Unified school board, and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 1980.
City councilman Jose Huizar sees Nava as a role model and pioneer. Especially for supporting the
Nava urged the middle school students in the auditorium of the new Julian Nava Learning Academy to aim high.
"So I hope that you have fun here with your friends, that you work with your teachers, and by the way, develop your character. Good luck to all of you."
The campus of 50 classrooms, open since September, is a couple of miles east of the Staples Center.