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Cesar Chavez

September 19, 2022

Not enough can be said about one of the most important Latino figures in history. Cesar Chavez is more than a popular street name in Texas. Chavez was born to a Mexican American family in Yuma, Arizona in 1927. Like many Latinos then and today, Chavez spent his working life as a laborer, picking avocados with his family on Californian farms during the Great Depression. Previously, the land his family owned was unfairly seized and auctioned off following the death of his grandmother. Chavez would carry this experience with him into his activism later in life.

Chavez would come to found the National Farm Workers Association, a labor union for the agricultural community in the San Joaquin Valley. He took great measures to conceal that he was organizing a union to avoid hurting the workers at the hands of their employers. In 1965, he and the NFWA would support the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee in the Delano Grape Strike. They would go on to hold strikes and boycotts against grape growers in the Delano area; Schenley Liquor Co., DiGiorgio Corp., and then Guimarra. Through his activism, Chavez was able to help open negotiations to raise workers’ wages. His friend and colleague, Dolores Huerta would lead those negotiations.

Chavez remains a fixture in our history because of his dedication to the community, his Christian values, and his pride in his heritage.

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