things that matter

Here’s How People Are Celebrating Cesar Chavez 25 Years After His Death

sananto2020 / mr_peefer / Instagram

Cesar Chavez — the fierce activist for farm workers rights — died on April 23, 1993, but his legacy lives on through various celebrations on his birth month.

CREDIT: Instagram/@iam2018

In 2014, President Barak Obama declared that the Latino leader would be celebrated by the nation on the day of his birth and declared March 31 would be Cesar Chavez Day.

President Obama said: “The values Cesar Chavez lived by guide us still. As we push to fix a broken immigration system, protect the right to unionize, advance social justice for young men of color, and build ladders of opportunity for every American to climb, we recall his resilience through setbacks, his refusal to scale back his dreams. When we organize against income inequality and fight to raise the minimum wage — because no one who works full time should have to live in poverty — we draw strength from his vision and example.”

People continue to honor Chavez with marches, parades, and festivals throughout March and April.

CREDIT: Instagram/@mcant2

This year, however, at least one person tried to dismantle the country’s tribute by declaring Cesar Chavez Day be named “National Border Control Day.”

“Cesar Chavez was best known for his passionate fight to gain better working environments for thousands of workers laboring in harsh conditions on farms for low wages. He also staunchly believed in sovereignty of the United States border,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said in a statement. “In fact, it was his firm belief that preventing illegal immigration was an essential prerequisite to improving the circumstances of American farmworkers; and in 1979, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he demanded that the federal government enforce the immigration laws and keep illegal aliens out of the country.”

And in the very state that Gohmert represents, people there paid it no mind to his senseless words, and celebrated Cesar Chavez Day in the most beautiful way.

In San Antonio, people gathered for the 22nd annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice.

CREDIT: Instagram/@eltallercitodeson

This year’s theme for the march was: “Building Bridges for Education, Non-Violence, and Social Justice.”

“We are not only here to celebrate my grandfather legacy and the legacy of Mr. Martinez who started the march, but also out here to celebrate the issues that are important to everybody,” Andres P. Chavez, grandson of the late Cesar E. Chavez, who served as grand marshal said to a local ABC news affiliate. “We are going to be chanting really loud. We are chanting the words ‘Si se puede’ because those words weren’t just the rally cry of the 1960s, but those words are alive and well today and will carry us through all of our battles against injustice to equality.”

Thousands attended the march, including Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro.

CREDIT: Instagram/@mr_peefer

“This weekend I joined #SanAntonians in the 22nd Annual Cesar E. Chavez #MarchforJustice to honor his legacy as a civil rights activist and labor leader,” Castro tweeted. “Very inspiring to see so many folks marching for great causes this weekend in #TX20.”

Here’s some more wonderful highlights from the march in San Antonio.

We love those “Si Se Puede” shirts!

Cesar Chavez was every where, even on the bus.

We hope they keep that all year-round.

So many people wearing red.

“Make Guac Free!” #cesarchavez #cesarchavezmarch #sanantonio #downtown

A post shared by M a r i o R u i z (@mars_est87) on

The red stands for “hard work and sacrifice” by immigrant workers, the United Farm Workers (UFW) state about the significance of their colors. The black eagle represents “the dark situation of the farm worker. The Aztec eagle is an historic symbol for the people of Mexico. The UFW incorporated the Aztec eagle into its design in order to show the connection the union had to migrant workers of Mexican-American descent, though not all UFW workers were Mexican-American.”

If you’d like to continue to celebrate Cesar Chavez, there’s another march on April 8.

Salinas area farm workers invite you to their Cesar Chavez march

D'Arrigo workers inviting people to their Cesar Chavez march on April 8 at 10 am / Trabajadores D'Arrigo de Brocoli invitando A la Marcha de Cesar chavez en el 8 de Abril at 10am. More/Mas @ https://www.facebook.com/events/1958802644434936/

Posted by UFW on Wednesday, March 28, 2018


READ: This Chicano Photographer Told Us Why Cesar Chavez Has Left A Lasting Impression With Latinos

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

Things That Matter

A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

Angry Tias And Abuelas / Facebook

All over the country groups and nonprofits are taking it upon themselves to deal with the immigration crisis in a humane way. They are doing what the government cannot: provide help to thousands of undocumented migrants looking for refuge. However, helping people isn’t as easy as one may think. Dr. Scott Warren was just on trial this week for giving undocumented migrants water and food. Thankfully the trial ended in a hung jury, but that goes to show that in this country, people do risk prosecution for giving people the dignity they deserve. That is why the story of these women warms our heart.

A group of women received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for their advocacy of undocumented people.

Facebook/angrytiasandabuelas

The women, who call their organization the Angry Tias and Abuelas, got honored last week for helping undocumented people transition from the moment that government officials release them from detention.

Here’s their mission: To advocate for dignity and justice for individuals and families seeking asylum at our borders. As they embark on their journeys to destinations across the U.S., our aim is to assure their basic health and safety needs are met. We provide emergency assistance such as food, water, clothing, toiletries, logistical support, and cash funds when needed to those recently released from ICE custody at bus depots or shelters in Brownsville and McAllen. We inform asylum seekers of their rights as they await entry across international bridges and give direct financial support to refugee shelters in the RGV and select immigrant shelters in Matamoros and Reynosa.

While the group said the award means everything to them, they are more frustrated with how the government is treating people at the border.

“Yes, we are mad,” she told NBC News. “We’re mad at the brutality of the United States government against the same people who are the same background as our own. These are families seeking safety from repression exactly like our own forefathers.”

The group launched just last year after seeing groups of women and children sleeping outside in torturous heat.

“It was quite a shocking scene,” Joyce Hamilton told CBS News about their first encounter with undocumented people. She said that her friends gathered to do something about it and help any way they could.

“We started talking to each other and meeting, and then enough of us were seeing each other enough times that some of us met for coffee at my house just to talk about coordinating a little bit and we formed the Angry Tias, thinking it would last for a few months,” Jennifer Harbury also said to CBS News. But the issue has not been resolved, and so they’ve continued to work.

Click here if you’d like more information on how you can help the Angry Tias and Abuelas group.

READ: Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives

César Chávez Changed The Way Our Country Treats Immigrant Farm Workers But There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Be Done

Things That Matter

César Chávez Changed The Way Our Country Treats Immigrant Farm Workers But There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Be Done

chavezfoundation / Instagram

If you are a Latino living in the United States, you’ve probably heard the name César Chávez. He was one of the first freedom fighters that advocated for the rights of farm workers, many of which had Mexican heritage. César Chávez is an icon of Chicano identity and still a source of inspiration for civil rights advocates and for those who use reason to fight injustice. 

Here are 21 facts about one of the most amazing Latino community leaders of all time.

He was born in Yuma, Arizona.

Credit: 83c2446a0896df0a1f4af01c940ae1d9_XL. Digital image. Moab Valley Multicultural Arts Center

His full birth name is César Estrada Chávez (yes, he took on his mom’s last name) and he was born on March 31, 1927. 

He had five siblings and grew up in an adobe house.

Credit: 42384-full. Digital image. KPCC

César Chávez knew what it was to live precariously from a very early age. His family owned a ranch, but they lost the land during the Great Depression. They also lost the family home and so.

His parents moved the family from Arizona to California in search of work like many families.

Credit: 7700813622_249e829e8c_o-1024×768. Digital image. PBS

César Chávez’s parents, Juana Estrada and Librado Chávez were forced to move to California, where they became migrant farm workers. They faced many tribulations picking peas, lettuce, cherries, grapes, and beans. 

César Chávez became a farm worker, and thus his life as an activist began.

When he was a teenager he found the great solidarity that he showed for his whole life. He and is sister volunteered to drive fellow farmers to the doctor when they needed to be looked after. He soon discovered that things are better achieved when community members help each other. 

He dropped out of school in seventh grade.

Credit: a634def4364fb3ce328d19e75f99a317. Digital image. USCD Libraries

Young César Chávez couldn’t go to school while his mother worked the fields, so he left his formal education and became a full-time farmer.

He worked on farms until he joined the United States Navy in 1942.

Credit: Cesar_Chavez_Mural_-_East_Side. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons

The experience was quite negative. César Chávez had hoped to translate the skills he learned in the military to his civil life. He served for two years only during World War II.

1952: an activist and pop culture star was born.

Credit: cesar-600×450. Digital image. Jon Kersey Photography

César Chávez worked en el campo non-stop until 1952 when he became an organizer for the Community Service Organization, a group that looked after Latino rights. In this role he met Fred Ross, an experienced community organizer and the rest, as they say, is history. He urged voters to work and protested industry malpractices.

He founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta.

Credit: cesar-chavez-and-dolores-huerta-mural-utah-gary-whitton. Digital image. Fine Art America

Just 10 years after starting his activist efforts, César Chávez founded the NFWA with fellow Mexican-American activist Dolores Huerta. This dynamic duo revolutionized farmers’ conditions in the United States and started an era of non-violent protest against powerful corporations and government wrongdoings.

With Dolores Huerta by his side, he led a historic strike in the grape industry.

Credit: Cesar-Chavez-Mural-in-South-Austin. Digital image. Austin Texas

The year was 1965 and the conditions were ripe for a great leap in the workers’ rights movement. With Huerta, César Chávez organized a consumer boycott against Californian grapes until labor conditions were improved for grape pickers. The strike made the national headlines and even Robert F. Kennedy supported the movement.

In 1966 the lucha expanded to Texas and farm owners were terrified.

Credit: cesar-chavez-portrait-mural. Digital image. Downtown Fresno Partnership

César Chávez is mostly known for his activism in California, but his legacy has impacted the whole country. In 1966 similar movements started in Texas and the Midwest, where César Chávez’s legacy led to the formation of unions such as Obreros Unidos in Wisconsin and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee in Ohio.

César Chávez and United Farm Workers organized the largest strike in U.S. history with results.

Credit: cesarchavezmural. Digital image. California Catholic Daily

Known as the Salad Bowl Strike, it happened in the early 1970s and consisted in a series of strikes and boycotts demanding higher wages for grape and lettuce workers. In order to support the strike, César Chávez fasted as a form of non-violent demonstration.

He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.

Credit: CesarChavezMural_1. Digital image. KCur

After that, César Chávez used fasting as a form of protest. He fasted, for example, when Arizona prohibited boycotts and strikes by farm workers. He was inspired by Catholic doctrine and by the non-violent forms of resistance made popular by Gandhi when resisting British rule in India.

He was a family man.

Credit: Chavez_Monument_Cesar_Chavez_Poster.jpg. Digital image. Social and Public Arts Resource Center

When he returned from his service in the military he married his high school novia, Helen Fabela. They moved to San Jose and had eight children.

He was a vegan.

Credit: DOM_6147. Digital image. Milwaukee Magazine

Long before the vegan movement gathered full force, he was a vegan, both because he fought for animal rights and because he had some health issues.

He was proud to be a Roman Catholic.

Credit: maxresdefault.jpg. Digital image. YouTube

It is not common for leftist activists to follow a religion, but César Chávez was a devout Catholic. He felt that the doctrine echoed his own sense of social justice, similar to what some Liberation Theology priests in Latin America have advocated for.

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions.

Credit: n3022593. Digital image. GR Connect

Even though he didn’t get the accolade, the American Friends Service Committee put forward his nomination three times. The prize would have been la cereza en el pastel, but to be honest, his legacy doesn’t really need it.

He has been a part of the California Hall of Fame since 2006.

Credit: npqlrj7hn6xgrjpmce8t.jpeg. Digital image. Wes Cover

Thirteen years after his death then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the First Lady Maria Shriver hicieron los honores.

He was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Credit: Digital image.

Then-president Bill Clinton presented the coveted award on September 8, 1994. César Chávez’s partner in crime, Dolores Huerta, got hers from Barack Obama. 

César Chávez Day is a state holiday in California.

Credit: SanLuisHighSchoolCesarChavezMural1000. Digital image. Azed News

Mark your calendars: March 31. It is not a federal holiday, but Barack Obama urged Americans to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy.”

There are numerous schools, libraries, and parks named after him.

Credit: tumblr_nbcc5xyhov1sn0xgwo1_1280.jpg. Digital image. Murales rebeldes

Most of them are in California but don’t be surprised if you find one in your hometown.

He died on April 23, 1993, pero la lucha sigue!

Credit: WEB_Chavez-mural. Digital image. USC News

He died of natural causes at the house of his friend and fellow farm worker Dofia Maria Hau. He is buried at the National Chavez Center in Kern County, California, the epicenter of his now legendary struggle to reach fair conditions for the many heroes working the land.

READ: Rep. Gohmert Has Filed A Resolution To Change Cesar Chavez Day To ‘National Border Control Day’

Paid Promoted Stories