History Museum Launches a Series of Conversations and Reflections

LOS ALTOS, CA (May 2, 2023) — Los Altos History Museum rolls out a series of programs scheduled for the third Thursday of every month alternating between panel discussions related to the newly opened Permanent Exhibition and changing exhibits, and block parties related to the history of neighborhoods. Held in the Museum’s upstairs Geschke Gallery, the inaugural program, “Hidden Communities: Chinese and Latino Agricultural Workers in the Bay Area,” is slated for Thursday, May 18 from 5:30-7pm.

The rich complexity of stories told in the Museum’s groundbreaking new Permanent Exhibition lends itself to reflections and conversations that go deeper, to really try to understand the relationship between the various threads of our collective past,” said Executive Director Dr. Elisabeth Ward. That’s why we are now providing a regular forum for our community to come together once a month through original and engaging adult programming after hours on a Thursday, where everyone can meet their neighbors, view the exhibition in a relaxed setting, participate in stimulating conversations, and enjoy light refreshments. It’s a chance to pause and reflect.”

The first program will delve into the relationship between Chinese and Latino agricultural workers historically and today. In a panel discussion, Dr. Perlita Dicochea, Chair of the Museum’s Diversity Advisory Committee, will moderate a conversation with fellow advisory members Connie Young Yu and Dr. Alexandro Jara on the history of these agricultural communities in the Bay Area. Half Moon Bay’s Vice Mayor Joaquin Jimenez will share insights in wake of the tragic January 2023 shootings that occurred on two mushroom farms, where seven people were shot and killed and an eighth critically injured.

Perlita Dicochea holds a position as Environmental Specialist with SpecPro as a government contractor with the US Army 63d Readiness Division. Previously, she served as Communications Associate and Program Coordinator at Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. She has written about agricultural communities and related environmental justice policies and taught at SCU, UCSD, and SJSU. Dr. Dicochea earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley.

Alexandro Jara worked as Visiting Assistant Professor with the Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Department at Loyola Marymount University for the 2022-2023 academic year. In the past he has worked as an Adjunct Instructor at Santa Clara University and worked with the Character Based Education Program at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Dr. Jara received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2022 in U.S. Latino Urbanism.

Connie Young Yu is author ofChinatown, San Jose, USA,” and has directed documentaries such as Digging to Chinatown” for California History Center. She was a founding member of Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Santa Clara County, Inc., and is a historical consultant for the Japantown development project in San Jose. Yu appeared in the 2020 PBS series, Asian Americans.

Joaquin Jimenez is the Farmworker Program Director for ALAS (Ayudando Latinos A Soñar), a non-profit organization whose vision is to help children and their families feel proud of their identity and culture and amplify their voices. He co-founded the Latino Advisory Council of Half Moon Bay, and serves as a mentor for at-risk youth and an advocate for farmworkers.

A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception will be held following the panel discussion. Cost to attend the program is $10; free to Museum members. Registration is required at losaltoshistory.org/ThurSeries1.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibitsstore, and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available to rent for evening and weekend events. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org
Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org