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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 March 31, 1927, near his family’s farm in Yuma, Arizona. At age 10, his family became migrant farm workers after losing their farm in the Great Depression.


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 East San Jose barrio of Sal Si Puedes and would eventually have eight children and 31 grandchildren.


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 April 23, 1993, in

San Luis, Arizona. More than 50,000 people attended

his funeral services in the small town of Delano,


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 America.

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

from Delano to Sacramento, which drew national attention to the plight of farm workers in America. To honor this anniversary and to educate and energize people with the power of civic engagement, we invite you to join us this month for several events commemorating Cesar Chavez, including the 12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice in San Antonio, Texas.


Unless indicated, all events are free and open to the public.


City Council Proclamation
by Mayor Hardberger

Thursday, March 20 at 5 p.m. City of San Antonio – City Hall

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 2 p.m.

Samuel Gompers Memorial Statue (near Riverwalk

across from Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)

The Samuel Gompers Memorial, the first labor monument

in San Antonio, was erected in 1980 during a special ceremony

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 7 a.m.

San Fernando Cathedral at 115 W Main Plaza

Catholic mass celebrating the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez.

For the Love of Cesar –

East Side Hospitality Event

Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m.

Greater Faith Institutional Church at 3514 Martin

Luther King Drive

Community event fostering relations of all local leaders to engage

in activism and partnership in the spirit of Cesar E. Chavez.

Cesar Chavez Interfaith

Ecumenical Service

Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m.

Our Lady of Guadalupe at 1321 El Paso Street

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 6 p.m.

Institute of Texan Cultures at 801 S. Bowie St.

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 6 p.m.

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Theatre at

1300 Guadalupe Street

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 San Jose, California

during the beginning of "La Causa", Petra Mata of Fuerza

Unida, District 5 City Councilwoman, Lourdes Galvan,

Cesar E. Chavez Board Member and Former City

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 6:30 p.m.

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 1 p.m.

March begins after assembly and brief program at

Avenida Guadalupe, 1321 El Paso.
Community program begins at 11 a.m. This event is co-sponsored by the City of San Antonio and features: Grand Marshal, Federico Chavez nephew of Cesar E. Chavez

Community Health Fair with information tables at Avenida Guadalupe.



San Antonio Public Library

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



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 San Antonio, Texas have been very

receptive to the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice and once again, we are proud to announce

that the City of San Antonio is a co-sponsor of the 12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez March for

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 Fresno,

California on September 30, 1962, they adopted the UFW flag and the slogan, "Viva La Causa!"

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 United States, he

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 11:00 a.m. at the Avenida Guadalupe Plaza in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Church, located at 1321 El Paso Street. The March takes off at 1:00 p.m. to the Alamo.

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.

In unity,

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 Visitor Center in California.

Printing sponsored by The NRP Group LLC,