On Saturday, April 18th, Judy Baca was presented the 2015 Cal State University, Northridge Distinguished Alumni Award by CSUN President Dianne Harrison.  Click through the slide show above to see highlights from the ceremony.

Surrounded by family, colleagues, and friends, Judy reflected about her CSUN educational experience, the role of the arts and the importance of activism.  Here is an excerpt from her acceptance speech, I Must Say: Not Bad for a CSUN Student who got a D in Painting:

“In 1964 I entered school on a new CSUN campus and the travel from my home in Pacoima to Northridge though just a short physical distance was a sojourn across the valley.  A sea of separation, defined by race and class existed between Pacoima and Northridge then; a Mason Dixon line of the San Fernando Valley.  Those lines have begun to blur in the intervening years.  CSUN is increasingly diverse.  When I left the university in 1969 revolutions were afoot everywhere in America.  None greater than the revolution of “thought” which said change is possible… question authority and never trust the status quo.  Personal freedom and self-actualization above all else. But … This is a time, which demands we join the rest of the world.  It begs us to become citizens of it, to use our problem solving capacities / and as artists our “imaginations to make real” as power for the purpose of redesigning that which affirms our humanity.

At this moment, I firmly believe it is important for the arts to take their rightful place again as one of the most significant of all human activities, because if we cannot imagine change, it cannot occur…  Because the space between imagining and making real is sometimes small.”  ~Judy Baca

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