Community members across Fort Collins will join together to celebrate Cesar Chavez and his work for social justice with a week-long series of events including films, lectures and panel discussions. Events run March 24 -31 and are free and open to the public. Organizations involved with the events include the city of Fort Collins, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Poudre School District, Front Range Community College-Larimer Campus and Colorado State University.
In 1956, Chavez formed the National Farm Workers Association, or NFWA, to support the rights of migrant workers. The name of the organization later was changed to the United Farm Workers, or UFW. In 1965, Chavez and the NFWA led a strike of California grape-pickers to demand higher wages. In addition, the group encouraged all Americans to boycott table grapes as a show of support.
In 1968, Chavez began a fast to call attention to the migrant workers’ cause, and in 1973 the UFW organized a strike for higher wages from lettuce growers. Through these and other actions, Chavez used non-violent means to combat violence and bring visibility to social injustice. As a result, he built numerous coalitions to help people of all ethnicities and cultures.
Chavez died 10 years ago, yet communities across the country continue to celebrate his legacy. Below is a schedule of events planned in the Fort Collins community.
Monday, March 24
- 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Cesar Chavez Educational Tables, sponsored by Lambda Theta Nu, Inc. Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge, Colorado State University.
- 1 p.m. Video and discussion with Dr. Patricia Vigil, sponsored by Sigma Lambda Gamma, Inc. Lory Student Center Art Lounge, Colorado State University.
Tuesday, March 25
- 6:30 p.m.Bi-lingual tour of the Fort Collins Public Library.
- 7 p.m.Cesar Chavez video, sponsored by Human Rights Resource and Education Office Ben Delatour Room, Fort Collins Public Library.
Wednesday, March 26
- 4:30-6:30 p.m.Video and discussion with Kimi Jackson, sponsored by Poudre Valley Health Systems. Café F, Poudre Valley Hospital.
- 7 p.m. Lecture by Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., first Latina NASA Astronaut, sponsored by Colorado State University Women and Minorities in Engineering Program. Main Ballroom, Lory Student Center, Colorado State University.
Thursday, March 27
- Noon "Cesar Chavez" video, sponsored by El Centro Student Services La Sala, El Centro, Colorado State University.
- 6:30 p.m. "Troubled Harvest" video, sponsored by Amigos de la Casa. Romero/Friends of the Romero House, Streets Facilities, 625 9th St., Fort Collins.
- 7-9 p.m. Multicultural Book Series, sponsored by Human Rights Resource and Education Office and Jade Creek Books. Discussion of "Albuquerque" by Rodolfo Anaya Jade Creek Books.
Sunday, March 30
- 7:30 p.m. Celebration of Cesar Chavez, sponsored by Key Plus Student Organization. Participate in the creation of a mural, watch the film "The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker’s Struggle," experience a simulation of the life of a farm worker and pledge to fast for 24 hours. Braiden Hall Lobby, Colorado State University.
Monday, March 31
- Noon-2 p.m. Remembering Cesar Chavez Colorado State University student speakers Proclamation: Mayor Ray Martinez Guest speakers:Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, Lalo Delgado Music by Grupo Aztlan Lory Student Center Commons, Colorado State University.
- 2-3 p.m. Migrant worker presentation and panel. Lory Student Center Commons, Colorado State University.
In addition, a clothing drive will be held to benefit local migrant workers. Drop boxes will be available March 24-30 at Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins Public Library, Hewlett Packard, Front Range Community College-Larimer Campus and Fort Collins Human Rights Office, as well as at the following Colorado State University locations: El Centro, residence halls, Counseling Center and Campus Activities Center. Drop boxes also will be available at most of the events listed above. Donations will be distributed through the Sunshine Community Health Center.
For more event information, call (970) 491-6444.