If you are originally from California, chances are you know a little bit more about him than people from other States. Maybe just out of the fact that you can skip class or work this day in his remembrance, but still. César Chavez day is observed annually in the Golden State every March 31st and also occasionally in the States of Colorado and Texas.
This year, we believe César Chávez celebration day takes even more significance due to the presidential race we are currently witnessing. Cesar’s values need to be strongly brought to mind now that we are hearing a resolute presidential candidate with serious chances of becoming the 45th President of the United States talking about the construction of an as high as 55 feet wall in the US-Mexican border. Indeed, we are talking about Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
Let’s talk a little about César’s life and vital force. He was born on March 31 in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona. He was a migrant farm worker from the age of 10. A Mexican American, 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. He became active with the Community Service Organization, which helped fight racial and economic discrimination against Chicano residents.
Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the early 1960s. He focused attention on the plight of migrant farm workers and gained support to have his organization be the first successful farm workers’ union in the United States. He used principles of non-violence, with strikes and boycotts. César Chávez remained president of United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO) until his death on April 23, 1993.
Many schools, community centers and parks are named after César Chávez in the United States. For example, there is the César Chávez Elementary School in San Francisco. There is also a portrait of César Chávez in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, as well as a statue of him at the University of Texas in Austin. César Chávez is listed in the California Hall of Fame and references have been made about him in songs by well-known musicians, like Stevie Wonder in the song “Black Man”. He was also honored with a commemorative postage stamp that the United States Postal Service issued in 2003.
Therefore, here in Bonavendi we want to celebrate his heritage as a symbol of harmony, coexistence and friendship between the American and the Mexican people.
There will be always stronger bonds between our communities than walls that intend to tear us apart.