Cesar Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (Also known as the UFW). Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida. However, by the mid-1980s membership in the UFW had dwindled to around 15,000. Since his passing (April 23, 1993, age 66) he has become an icon for organized labor and leftist politics, symbolizing support for workers and for Hispanic empowerment based on grass roots organizing. He is also famous for popularizing the slogan “Sí, se puede”, which is Spanish for “Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”, which was adopted as the 2008 campaign slogan of Barack Obama. This week, April 21st – April 24th, CWU will be celebrating and remembering Cesar Chavez and all that he has done. Below are a list of events happening this week in honor of the celebration:
- Tuesday, April 22nd in the SURC Pit at noon to 2pm, come help start a week of celebration for the life and accomplishments of Cesar E. Chavez. His birthday celebration will feature music, food, and lots of cake! Please join in on the fun, the event is free and open to the community.
- Tuesday, April 22nd at 6pm in Black Hall 151, join our keynote speaker Rosalinda Guillen, a widely recognized farm worker and rural justice leader, as she talks about Community to Community Development. She is heavily involved with United Farm Workers (UFW) and is extremely passionate about the cause. It is free and open to the public.
- Wednesday, April 23rd at 7pm in Black Hall 152, come watch this documentary film about Cesar Chavez’s 36 day fast in 1988 that features never before seen footage of Cesar’s “Fast for Life.” Cesar’s struggle is a powerful message that encourages all of us to continue the fight against the inequalities we still see today. This event is free and open to the public.
- Thursday, April 24th at 7pm in the Music Building, join us for a special musical performance by José Iñiguez, where he will sing opera and Mexican mariachi music accompanied by classical pianist Jeremy Neufeld and Mariachi Guzman de Pasco. The event is free and open to the community!
Hope to see you at events throughout the week, and if you can’t remember what is happening on which days be sure to check the Hype twitter/facebook!