Legacy Month
Legacy Week


October is Legacy Month!

Join us for our programs and events!



San José State University is known as a destination campus for several areas of study including business, education, engineering, art, design, and nursing. However, much of SJSU’s often unrecognized trajectory includes its ability to prepare its students to take a critical look at the world around them, engage in meaningful dialogue, and work toward finding solutions to complex issues.

Our alumni list is filled with elected officials, public-sector employees, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the field who have used what they have learned at SJSU to make the world a better place. Additionally, the faculty and staff of the university have produced scholarly works tied to solving social issues and have ignited conversations that are shaping the educational landscape in terms of social justice.


SJSU History

During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, United States track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos were awarded medals for their athletic efforts. However, the great athletic feat would soon be shadowed by one of the most memorable moments in the American Civil Rights Movement. Tommie Smith and John Carlos would protest the poor treatment of African-American people in the United States and stood to empower the African American community, as part of a larger human rights struggle. This is a great symbol for the community of San José State University. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were both students at this prestigious university and showed San José State University students of the present and the future that students can make a difference on the global stage.

Since 2005, Associated Students, in collaboration with several campus departments have worked diligently to ensure that all students are aware of this momentous event in SJSU history.  In addition to commemorating the ’68 Olympic event, it is a testament to students that they can make a difference today. Legacy Week was formally introduced in fall of 2007 with the full-time operation of the Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center.


The SJSU Legacy Intiative

Social Justice is a process, not an outcome, which (1) seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; (2) challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; (3) empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; (4) and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action. Advocacy and intentional student development further support this definition. 

With this background in social justice, SJSU faculty and staff have launched the SJSU Legacy Week as an institutionalized campus-wide effort.  Building upon the efforts of the previous years, the goal of the initiative is to: (a) make social justice issues more central to the campus mission, (b) develop community, (c) encourage critical- thinking about the complex societal issues and (d) have students begin to explore how their field of study or future career can play a part in finding solutions. 


2018 Legacy Month Events

Legacy Month Film Series: Landmarks to Legacy of Athlete Activism
The first 50 students for each of the film screenings will receive a limited edition 50th Anniversary Smith & Carlos T-Shirt
The Black Power Mixtape: Tuesday, September 18, 12-2pm, Student Union Theater
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: Monday, September 24, 12-2pm, Student Union Theater
When We Were Kings: Thursday, October 4, 12-2pm, Student Union Theater
The 13th: Tuesday, October 9, 12-2pm, Student Union Theater
1968, TBA

It's In Our DNA - Social Action at San Jose State University
Tuesday, October 16
3:00-4:00pm, Meeting Room 2b, Student Union
Come hear from SJSU faculty, staff, and alumnae about Smith & Carlos' historic action, as well as the long history of social justice at San Jose State University, which includes the creation of Chicano Commencement, the establishment of EOP, the successful campaign to raise minimum wage in San Jose.

Rooted: Social Justice Music & Art Festival with Headliner Ruby Ibarra
Wednesday, October 17
4-7pm, Tower Lawn
Free & open event for all. No tickets required. Free food & swag reserved for currently enrolled SJSU students.

Legacy Month Keynote Speaker: A Conversation with Shaun King
Wednesday, October 24
5-7pm, Student Union Ballroom
**More information about how to attend TBA