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MacArthur Fellow, OC leader to deliver Hashinger lecture

November 5, 2010

Rueben Martinez

 Learn about the life of Rueben Martinez, one of Orange County’s most vibrant community leaders, when the barber-turned-bookstore-owner and MacArthur Foundation Fellowship winner delivers the lecture “Embracing Literature and Strengthening Communities” Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 4:30 p.m. in the Irvine Lecture Hall at Chapman University. The lecture is part of the Hashinger Lecture Series sponsored by the College of Educational Studies.

Born in 1940 in the small mining town of Miami, AZ, Martinez moved to California at 17 and began work as a barber. When he realized the Latino community didn’t have a bookstore that met its needs, he added a small collection of books to his barbershop. The books soon outgrew the barbershop, and Librería Martinez Books and Art Gallery was born.

Martinez was named a Chapman University Presidential Fellow in 2009. He is a member of a project dedicated to bringing first-generation students into Chapman’s science and math programs, improving the community’s math and science literacy. He received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004 and was cited by the awards committee for “fusing the roles of marketplace and community center to inspire appreciation of literature and preserve Latino literary heritage.” He has also authored a children’s book, Once Upon a Time, Traditional Latin American Tales.

A reception will follow his lecture at 7:30 p.m.

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