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Dr. César Cruz      

Educational Activist, Author, & Co-Founder of Homies Empowerment

From marching 76-straight miles, to hunger striking for 26 days, Dr. César Cruz has dedicated his life to justice. Born in México, he migrated to the U.S. with a single mother. Cesar grew up in South Central L.A. and moved to study at UC Berkeley earning a B.A.-History. A 25-year vet in education, served as Dean at Arise High in Oakland where he co-founded the Homies Empowerment Program. Dr. Cruz developed the Avenues Project bringing music and arts programs to youth who have been deeply marginalized in Oakland, CA. He is the author of “Revenge of The Illegal Alien,” and “Bang for Freedom,” which is a book offering ethnic studies to youth who are being pulled into street life. Dr. Cruz was the first Mexican immigrant male to receive his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Harvard University in the Ed.L.D. Program. Currently, he is designing his own high school, Homies Empowerment for youth who have been previously incarcerated and is building it based on gang, street, communal and Indigenous assets. According to Christian Science Monitor, Dr. Cruz is considered one of America’s 30 education thought leaders. Amidst all the accolades, he is proudest to be a husband, and father of three children: Olin, Amaru and Quetzali.

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