We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
César Chávez (1927-1993) is a national hero and symbol of dignity, workers' rights, peace, and justice in the Latino community and far beyond.
Born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, AZ, his parents were small business owners who lost everything in the Great Depression. The family was pushed to California and became farmworkers, where César learned first-hand about the mistreatment of laborers in the fields and orchards.
Leading with the mantra "Si se puede!", Chávez later became a founding member of United Farm Workers (UFW), responsible for the largest farm worker strike in US history (the Salad Bowl strike), which led to positive reforms and gains in agricutural labor practices.
Today we honor César Chávez and his legacy. Despite the advances and some recent successes much remains to be done to ensure fair compensation and safe labor practices for those who pick much of our produce. Check out a parade, a local food co-op, and join a tomato boycott!
César Chávez's birthday is a state holiday in California, aiming to promote greater community service and action. For more information about this renowned organizer and peace activist, visit The César Chávez Foundation website.
Written by Nicole Sanchez & Steven Pine, Kapor Center
Image from US Department of Labor