Cesar Chavez, Organizer for Social Justice


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This presentation is by a student from the Fall 2011 session of "Acting Up - Using Theater & Technology for Social Change," part of the online education program at The School for New Learning. Tom Tresser, instructor - http://www.tresser.com

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Cesar Chavez, Organizer for Social Justice

  1. 2. The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Cesar Chavez <ul><li>Born in 1927 into a Mexican-American family residing outside of Yuma, Arizona </li></ul><ul><li>Thrust into farm labor after 8th grade graduation in order to help his mother avoid the fields </li></ul><ul><li>Exposed early to the physical, mental and financial toll of farm work </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated by persistence for the pursuit of justice </li></ul>
  2. 3. Driving Forces <ul><li>His father, Librado, and the lesson of perseverance </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Ross, Saul Alinksy, and the CSO </li></ul><ul><li>Desire for education </li></ul>
  3. 4. Librado Chavez <ul><li>Lost the family home when it was sold out from underneath them, but failed to lose hope for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Had plans for his children to have the opportunity to go to college </li></ul>
  4. 5. Fred Ross, Saul Alinksy and the CSO <ul><li>Fred Ross sought out Chavez </li></ul><ul><li>Mentored him in organizing style </li></ul><ul><li>Ross's strength lay in his ways with people - a trait Chavez focused on learning </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Ross was a student of Saul Alinksy </li></ul><ul><li>Chavez was recruited to Los Angeles to work as part of Saul Alinsky's Community Service organization </li></ul><ul><li>Within the CSO, Chavez learned the core basics of building a union </li></ul>
  5. 6. Education for Self-Empowerment <ul><li>Cesar understood that education was the key to personal freedom </li></ul><ul><li>In assisting the farm workers, he and his wife also taught them to read and write, a crucial skill to have your desires heard </li></ul>
  6. 7. And in the beginning there was... <ul><li>NFWA - National Farm Workers Association </li></ul><ul><li>Dolores Huerta </li></ul>After which came....
  7. 8. THE UFW United Farm Workers
  8. 9. A Successful Union <ul><li>Started with house meetings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>addressed problems with people from the community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training of members: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>crucial to dedication, focused on legislative process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Developed community allies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>churches, student groups, pre-existing organized labor groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dissolved race lines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>members included those of Dominican, Mexican, Mexican-American, Filipino, African-American, Puerto Rican and Arab decent </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Non-Violence: A Way of Life & Protest <ul><li>Chavez loved animals and people alike, he sought to be a gentle part of society </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired by Gandhi, Cesar incorporated fasting into his non-violent protests </li></ul>
  10. 11. Organizing for Change <ul><li>“ Compromise was not the UFW way.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Fred Ross </li></ul><ul><li>Chavez and the UFW fought to make a lasting difference in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering thousands of voices on paper, in signatures, and in the flesh, he gave people the power to help themselves </li></ul>
  11. 12. “ The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.” - Cesar Chavez CESAR CHAVEZ 1927 - 1993