UCSB will host a free conference today discussing the centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

Titled “The Mexican Revolution of 1910: A Centennial Conference,” the seminar will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room at the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. The event will feature an array of speakers, including a keynote address from UCSD professor emeritus Ramón Eduardo Ruiz, as well as a screening of the documentary “The Wind That Swept Mexico.”

A panel discussion featuring UCSB professor Kathleen Bruhn and UC Berkeley professor Alex Saragoza will close the conference.

Because the Mexican Revolution generated the first mass immigration from Mexico to the United States, professor of Chican@ Studies Mario Garcia, organizer of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center affiliated Chicano/Latino Research Group, said it is more pertinent to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans on this side of the border.

“After Independence, Mexico doesn’t really have a fixed identity because in some sense it’s trying to present itself as a European type of nation,” Garcia said. “It’s not until the revolution of 1910 that Mexico begins to own up to that to accept the reality that it is … a mixed people and a mixed culture, therefore, its Mestizo influence.”

Moreover, professor of Chican@ Studies Maria Herrera-Sobek, associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity and academic policy, said the Mexican Revolution is specifically relevant to United States history because of the heroes it created for future social movements.

“Two of the iconic figures from the Mexican Revolution were Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Villa, who were both generals in the civil war,” Herrera-Sobek said. “It gave two iconic figures for the Chicano movement in the ’60s, for poor people to rise up.”

According to chair of the Spanish & Portuguese Dept. Francisco Lomelí, the Mexican Revolution is an inspirational model for social justice struggles.

“It permitted people from lower society to rattle the foundations of Mexican political structures and create change,” Lomelí said. “In that sense, the Mexican Revolution has become almost the emblem, the embodiment and the model for the kinds of social revolutions that could be carried out to truly make a social change.”