Monday, March 31, 2003, is César Chávez
Day. This is an official holiday in five states and many cities across
the nation. This holiday was established in 2000 to honor the legacy
of the Hispanic American whose dedication to civil rights and farm labor
issues helped to forever change the lives and working conditions of
migrant farmworkers. It is in observance of this holiday that we ensure
his legacy will inspire others to action, continuing his fight.
Chávez launched the United Farm Workers
union in 1962, an organization originally called the National Farm Workers
Association. In 1968, Chávez led a nationwide boycott of California
table grapes in an effort to force growers to recognize unions, raise
wages, and improve working conditions. The boycott lasted five years,
and an estimated 17 million American citizens stopped buying grapes,
causing industry profits to greatly decline.
Watch the video! Behind
the Scenes with César Chávez features historical
and interviews with César’s brother, Richard, and other
United Farm Workers colleagues. The video portrays how one poor individual
who is rich in vision and determination can make a significant difference
in the world.
After watching the video, complete the activity
to gain a better understanding of the life and work of César