Life Of Cesar Chavez To Be Celebrated Around Imperial Valley
Union leader and labor organizer Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to improving treatment, pay and working conditions for farm workers.
Born near Yuma, Arizona, on March 31, 1927, Cesar Chavez employed nonviolent means to bring attention to the plight of farmworkers, and formed both the National Farm Workers Association, which later became United Farm Workers. As a labor leader, Chavez led marches, called for boycotts and went on several hunger strikes. It is believed that Chavez’s hunger strikes contributed to his death on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, Arizona.
Union leader and labor organizer Cesar Chavez was born Cesario Estrada Chavez on March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Arizona. Chavez dedicated his life to improving the treatment, pay and working conditions for farm workers. He knew all too well the hardships farm workers faced. When he was young, Chavez and his family toiled in the fields as migrant farm workers.
After working as a community and labor organizer in the 1950s, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. This union joined with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee in its first strike against grape growers in California in 1965. A year later, the two unions merged, and the resulting union was renamed the United Farm Workers in 1972. In early 1968, Chavez called for a national boycott of California table grape growers. Chavez’s battle with the grape growers for improved compensation and labor conditions would last for years. At the end, Chavez and his union won several victories for the workers when many growers signed contracts with the union. He faced more challenges through the years from other growers and the Teamsters Union. All the while, he continued to oversee the union and work to advance his cause.
As a labor leader, Chavez employed nonviolent means to bring attention to the plight of farm workers. He led marches, called for boycotts and went on several hunger strikes. He also brought the national awareness to the dangers of pesticides to workers’ health. His dedication to his work earned him numerous friends and supporters, including Robert Kennedy and Jesse Jackson.
It is believed that Chavez’s hunger strikes contributed to his death: He died on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, Arizona.
In honor of Cesar Chavez there will be several events held throughout the Valley.
In Calexico: Cesar Chavez Film Night & Art Gallery, Thursday, March 30th at the Calexico Carmen Durazo Cultural Art Center, doors open at 5 p.m., Film begins at 6 p.m.
In El Centro: The first annual César Chávez Day Celebration. The event will take place on Friday, March 31, from 5 pm-8 pm at the Old Post Office Pavilion Cultural Center located at 230 S. Fifth Street in El Centro. The event will consist of Domingo Ulloa art exhibit, dance and music performances, and guest speakers. For more information please call 760-337-4555.
In Brawley: The 13th Annual Cesar Chavez Celebration and Aztlan Valle Imperial Car Show April 1st at Plaza Park on Main Street. Featuring Rocky Padilla and the Chicano All Stars with Steve Salas of Tierra, Hank Castro former lead singer of Thee Midniters, Ray Carrion of Thee Latin All Stars along with Jessica and Flamingo from the Inland Empire, solo artists Rigo Luna, Sabrina Rodriguez Fragile, LRD and local artists Daniel D-rayez Reyes and Moles Reggea Band.