Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to Visit UC Riverside May 10

The evening will include a screening of a documentary on his life and a Q & A session with the social justice visionary

Cruz Reynoso, former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, will speak at UC Riverside on May 10.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. –  On Friday, May 10, members of the University of California, Riverside community will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of Cruz Reynoso, the first Latino to serve on the California Supreme Court and a central player in the fight for social justice, via a screening of the documentary on his life and a question-and-answer session with the man himself.

Doors at UCR’s University Theatre will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event will begin with a 6 p.m. screening of the Abby Ginzberg’s 2010 documentary, “Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seed of Justice.” A question and answer session with Reynoso will be held immediately following the film.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Parking Lot 6 for $5. For more information and to RSVP please contact Bri Cates at (951) 827-4641 or

“UCR is honored to have Cruz Reynoso on campus this Friday,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs James Sandoval, adding that Reynoso will also meet with various campus groups during his visit.

Reynoso said that his hope is that many young people come out to the screening to learn from his life experiences.

“Our intention for the film was for many young people to see it and understand that much can be done if we look beyond ourselves and our own families to our communities,” Reynoso said.

In addition to serving on the California Supreme Court from 1981 to 1986, Reynoso served as the vice-chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1993 to 2004. In 2000 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his work on the cause of social justice.

The film traces Reynoso’s life from his earliest days working the orange groves of Southern California and into his first experiences with social justice during his teenage years, including petitioning the United States Postal Service to provide rural free delivery to his home in the barrio outside La Habra, and his efforts with the school board to desegregate Wilson Grammar School.

The movie poster for the documentary "Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice"

The movie poster for the documentary “Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice”

Reynoso attended Fullerton Community College, then received a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in 1953. He spent two years in the Army, then earned his law degree from UC Berkeley in 1958. After a distinguished career, including a four-year stint as a professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, he was appointed as an associate justice to the California Court of Appeal in 1976, the first Latino appointed to the court. He 1981, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him as an associate justice to the California Supreme Court, where he served until 1986.

Reynoso returned to private practice, then joined the UCLA School of Law in 1991, winning Professor of the Year honors in 1995. He moved to the UC Davis School of Law faculty in 2001. A fellowship named after him, the Cruz Reynoso Social Justice Fellowship  was established in 2003 to help Latino students seeking their law degrees.

Reynoso has received multiple awards and honors, including the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance from UC Merced in 2011.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Bri Cates (for RSVP and questions)
Tel: (951) 827-4641

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