Knowledge, community and perseverance are the most important values that students can adopt from César Chávez’s life, according to Marcus Pedia, a biomedical and electrical engineering student who will help run the week of Chávez-related celebrations through Friday, April 3.
“Back in high school, I received the award in leadership and community service (during the César Chávez Community Celebration), so I wanted to give back to that and relay my experience and how César Chávez’s values have played a role in my life,” Pedia said.
El Centro, Colorado State University’s Hispanic cultural organization, will host a week of events, film screenings and discussions celebrating Chávez’s contributions to human rights activism.
“(Celebrating Chávez) is important because as we continue to work on social justice, César Chávez took the lead,” said Guadalupe Salazar, director of El Centro. “As we continue to speak about social justice, it’s important for us to know who our leaders were — whose shoulders are we standing on?”
According to a CSU press release, “Chávez dedicated his life to human rights” by improving the working conditions and treatment of farm workers.
The week will also celebrate the contributions of other human rights activists, such as Filipino labor organizer Larry Itliong, who led 1,500 Filipinos to strike in Delano, California in the 1960s. Because this period of activism was so diverse, El Centro has partnered with many other student organizations to host the week’s events, including the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center and the Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity.
The week’s schedule will be as follows:
Monday: The César Chávez Blood Drive will be located north of Warner College from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday: A film screening of “La Cosecha” (“The Harvest”) will occur at noon in LSC Room 372, followed by a discussion with Maricela DeMiryn, associate professor in the Ethnic Studies Department.
The César Chávez Community Celebration will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the LSC Grand Ballroom.
Wednesday: A panel lunch from noon – 1:30 p.m. will be hosted in LSC 312, during which panel members will talk about what social justice means to them. The panel will be made up of faculty members, student activists and a moderator.
Thursday: A film screening of “César Chávez” (the 2014 film) will occur from 7 – 9 p.m. in the LSC theatre.
Friday: “Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers,” a film highlighting the Filipino’s role in the human rights movement that Chávez started, will be shown in the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center (LSC room 333) from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
A Chávez-inspired exhibition entitled “We Shall Overcome” will also be displayed in the 1st National Bank Gallery in the CSU Morgan Library through May 31.
Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @lemarie.