12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice
12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice
Saturday, March 29
A true American hero, Cesar was a Latino, a farm worker and labor leader; a religious
and spiritual figure; a community servant and social entrepreneur; a crusader for nonviolent social change; and an environmentalist and consumer advocate.
A second-generation American, Cesar was born on
Throughout his youth and into his adulthood, Cesar migrated across the southwest laboring in the fields and vineyards, where he was exposed to the hardships and injustices of farm worker life.
After achieving only an eighth-grade education, Cesar left school to work in the fields full-time to support his family. Although his formal education ended then, he possessed an insatiable intellectual curiosity and was self-taught in many fields and well read throughout his life.
Cesar joined the U.S. Navy in 1946 and served in the Western Pacific in the aftermath of World War II. He returned from service to marry Helen Fabela. The Chavez family settled in the
Cesar’s life as a community organizer began in 1952 when he joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a prominent Latino civil rights group. While with the CSO, Cesar coordinated voter registration drives and conducted campaigns against racial and
economic discrimination, primarily in urban areas.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Cesar served as CSO’s national director. Cesar’s dream, however, was to create an organization to protect and serve farm workers, whose poverty
and disenfranchisement he had shared. In 1962, Cesar resigned from the CSO, leaving the security of a regular paycheck to found the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America.
For more than three decades, Cesar led the first successful farm workers union in american history, achieving dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers. Against previously insurmountable odds, he led successful strikes and boycotts that resulted in the first industrywide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture. His union’s efforts brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act to protect farm workers. Today, it remains the only law in the nation that protects the farm workers’ right to unionize.
The significance and impact of Cesar’s life transcends
any one cause or struggle. He was a unique and humble
leader, in addition to being a great humanitarian and
communicator who influenced and inspired millions
of Americans to seek social justice and civil rights for
the poor and disenfranchised in our society. Cesar
forged a diverse and extraordinary national coalition of
students, middle-class consumers, trade unionists,
religious groups, and minorities.
A strong believer in the principles of nonviolence
practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., Cesar effectively employed peaceful tactics
such as fasts, boycotts, strikes and pilgrimages.
In 1968, he fasted for 25 days to affirm his personal
commitment and that of the farm labor movement, to
non-violence. He fasted again for 25 days in 1972.
In 1988, at the age of 61, he endured a 36-day "Fast for
Life" to highlight the harmful impact of pesticides on
farm workers and their children.
Cesar passed away in his sleep on
his funeral services in the small town of
His motto in life — "sí se puede" (it can be done) —
embodies the uncommon and invaluable legacy he left
for the world’s benefit. Since his death, dozens of
communities across the nation have renamed schools,
parks, streets, libraries, other public facilities, awards
and scholarships in his honor, as well as enacting
holidays on his birthday, March 31. In 1994, he was
posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, the highest civilian honor in
Reprinted by permission from the Cesar E. Chavez
Foundation Archives on Cesar E. Chavez
March 2008 marks the 42nd Anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s historic 350-mile pilgrimage
Unless indicated, all events are free and open to the public.
City Council Proclamation
by Mayor Hardberger
Thursday, March 20 at City of
Grand Marshal, Federico Chavez will be joined by community leaders and members of the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice Committee as he accepts a special proclamation on behalf of the City of San Antonio.
Labor Tribute to the Legacy of Cesar E. Chavez
Saturday, March 22 at
Samuel Gompers Memorial Statue (near Riverwalk
The Samuel Gompers Memorial, the first labor monument
in which Cesar E. Chavez, Lane Kirkland, National
President of the AFL-CIO, Henry Cisneros, Jaime Martinez
and others were present. Labor leaders and community
activists will gather for a wreath laying ceremony to honor
Gompers and Chavez. Lead Organization: Labor Council
for Latin American Advancement AFL-CIO.
Mass for Farm Workers
Sunday, March 23 at
San Fernando Cathedral at 115
Catholic mass celebrating the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez.
For the Love of Cesar –
Monday, March 24 at
Greater Faith Institutional Church at 3514 Martin
Community event fostering relations of all local leaders to engage
in activism and partnership in the spirit of Cesar E. Chavez.
Cesar Chavez Interfaith
Tuesday, March 25 at
Our Lady of Guadalupe at
Multi-faith celebration through prayer and song in partnership
with local spiritual leaders. Service will include a performance
from musical group Golden Voices from New Creation
Christian Fellowship. All faiths are welcomed.
Student Art Presentation and Reception
Wednesday, March 26 at
Local students will display artwork submitted for the annual
Cesar E. Chavez Art Contest. Winners in several categories
will be announced.
Remembering Cesar E. Chavez
Film Presentation – Reception
Thursday, March 27 at
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Theatre at
Film presentation on the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez
will be followed by a group panel discussion by Federico
Chavez, Grand Marshal, nephew of Cesar E. Chavez and
son of Richard Chavez, brother of Cesar E. Chavez who
designed the distinctive UFW Flag in 1962, Esther Lopez,
who lived with the Chavez family in
during the beginning of "La Causa", Petra Mata of Fuerza
Unida, District 5 City Councilwoman,
Cesar E. Chavez Board Member and
Councilwoman Patti Radle, National LULAC President Rosa
Rosales and Master of Ceremonies, Jaime P. Martinez,
Chairman of the Foundation.
Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational
Scholarship Recipients Dinner Awards
Friday, March 28 at
La Villita Assembly Hall at 401 Villita
For tickets ($50 per person; Table of 10 at $500) please
contact Jaime Martinez at 210-842-9339. Musical entertainment
by Roger Velasquez.
12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez
March for Justice
Saturday, March 29 at
March begins after assembly and brief program at
Avenida Guadalupe, 1321 El Paso.
Community program begins at This event is co-sponsored by the City of
Community Health Fair with information tables at Avenida Guadalupe.
Celebrates Cesar Chavez Legacy
The San Antonio Public Library will celebrate the life and achievements of Latino leader and activist Cesar Chavez with a series of special programs, films and exhibits tailored
to various age groups. For details, call your local branch library or visit www.sanantonio.gov/library.
The Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Fund is proud to help keep the legacy and dream
of Cesar Chavez alive for future generations. The people of
receptive to the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice and once again, we are proud to announce
that the City of
Justice. We invite you to join this year’s Grand Marshal, Federico Chavez, Administrative Law
Judge and son of Richard Chavez, who designed the distinctive UFW flag in 1962. When
Cesar Chavez opened the UFW’s first convention in an abandoned movie house in
Cesar E. Chavez is a great American hero and role model. Through his example of nonviolence,
social justice, and his commitment to end the mistreatment of farm workers,
improving their living conditions and bringing dignity to all workers in the
will always be remembered in the hearts of the people.
There is no question in my heart and in the hearts of the people who knew Cesar Chavez which side of the struggle
he was on. Cesar showed us through his courageous examples that, "Si Se Puede" (Yes We Can) achieve great
accomplishment through unity, perseverance, and hard dedicated work.
I invite you on behalf of all the Cesar E. Chavez organizing committees to join us and march with us on Saturday, March
29, 2008. Mid-morning assembly begins at the
Church, located at
Join us in keeping Cesar E. Chavez’s visions and dreams alive and make them a reality through our actions in the march
and throughout the year.
Jaime P. Martinez
Chairman of the 12th Annual San Antonio Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice
Cesar Chavez March for Justice Chairman Jaime Martinez holds the
UFW Flag with Richard Chavez, brother of Cesar Chavez, at the Cesar E.
Chavez Memorial and
Printing sponsored by The NRP Group LLC, www.NRPGroup.com