“Embracing Literature and Strengthening Communities”
Navigating the Connections Among Community, Business, and Activism

4:30pm – 6:30pm Presentation
6:30pm – 7:30pm Reception
Irvine Lecture Hall

Mr. Ruebén Martinez

Mr. Rueben Martinez

Born in 1940 in the small mining town of Miami, Arizona, he moved to California at age 17 and worked as a barber. Mr. Martinez became active in politics and as a community cultural leader, and when he realized the Latino community didn’t have a bookstore that met their 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.

Mr. Martinez was named a Chapman University Presidential Fellow and began working in that capacity 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, and acts as a community ambassador to facilitate the success of the project. 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

Also, see Chapman’s
Happenings Blog
for a great video of Rueben Martinez!