Ernesto Villarreal, who is former assistant director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Hope College, will present the college’s 2024 César Chávez Lecture on Wednesday, March 27, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The lecture will address the theme, “Revolutionary Imagination: The Intersection of Faith, Hope, and Love,” exploring the theory and reality of envisioning meaningful change and actively pursuing its realization. As explained in the presentation’s abstract, “In this lecture, we will explore historical change movements and strategies, extracting valuable lessons applicable to the context of Hope College. Join us in uncovering the transformative power residing at the convergence of faith, hope, and love.”

The doors will open at 3:45 p.m.  There will also be an opportunity for the audience to participate in a question-and-answer panel discussion following the presentation.

The lecture is being presented by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary and is incorporating the theme throughout the 2024 Diversity Lecture Series. CDI is using the 2024 Diversity Lecture Series to celebrate and honor those who have put their time and effort into creating a diverse and inclusive community at Hope. The celebration will continue through presentations scheduled across 2024.

“Our theme for this time of celebration and reflection is ‘40 years of Belonging and Growing Together: 1984-2024,’” said Jevon Willis, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.  “Utilizing CDI’s distinctive diversity spring and fall lecture series, each lecture will focus on the legacy of work and personal experiences connected with past and present leaders of CDI at Hope College.”

Villarreal served as assistant director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Hope from 2013 to 2018.  His professional background includes human resources, IT management, nonprofit leadership, and diversity initiatives. With extensive experience in managing HR functions, overseeing IT systems, and spearheading organizational initiatives, he is committed to driving positive change and community impact.

He is currently manager of human resources and information technology for Habitat for Humanity of Michigan.  He works with 45 Habitat affiliates throughout the

state to provide HR support and help them find innovative technology solutions for their organizations.

Along with his professional duties, he has served on various nonprofit boards in the West Michigan area, most notably, Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates.

A graduate from Abilene Christian University, Villarreal holds degrees in youth and family ministries and Spanish, and a master’s in higher education with an emphasis in student affairs.

The lecture is being presented by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Latino Student Organization, the Office of Culture and Inclusive Excellence, and the GROW Diversity Council.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email  Updates related to events are posted when available at in the individual listings.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.