An Introduction to the Life of Cesar Chavez
Although many people know Cesar Chavez as a union organizer, he is most revered for his life of service to bring representation and rights to American minorities. Born to a middle class family in Arizona, the Great Depression eventually forced the family to leave their businesses and farm behind and join the thousands of desperate migrant workers in the fields of California. Seeing the destitution created from life in the fields, Chavez decided to take action. Despite only being able to achieve a minimal formal education, Chavez started his adult career as a community organizer. He interviewed thousands of Mexican Americans, helping them register to vote and become involved in political actions. He spent long hours studying non-violent protest as a means to gain greater representation. Through boycotts, speeches, unions, interviews, and his historic fasts--one of 26 days, and another of 36 days-- Chavez's efforts were key in eventually paving the path to unite minority workers in a way that gave them a voice and brought needed reform. After his passing in 1993, Chavez received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cesar Chavez Day is currently a holiday in eight states, including Utah.
Cesar Chavez Day Service Project
This year, we have chosen to honor his legacy through a variety of service projects throughout the state of Utah. In Provo, the South Franklin Community Center is going to be at the heart of many of these projects. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help in several different projects, including:
-Preparing the local community garden.
-Organizing, painting, preparing the South Franklin Community Center.
-Running a book/game/movie drive to gather resources for after-school and summer youth programs in the community center.
-Re-painting walls that have been tagged and fixing fences.
-Help organize opening day of the South Franklin Soccer Program.
-Assist at Provo City Library.
The Service Day will begin at 8 A.M. on Saturday, March 28th at Dixon Middle School at 750 W 200 N, Provo, UT. Breakfast will be provided, as well as t-shirts for the first 100 participants. After breakfast, volunteers will head to their respective locations. All are welcome to participate.
The event is run by AmeriCorps*VISTA, United Way of Utah County, SALAS Club of BYU, the South Franklin Community Center, and other volunteers.