Colorado State University and the Fort Collins communities will gather to celebrate the life and work of Cesar Chavez, who spent his life fighting to improve conditions for the predominantly Hispanic and immigrant people who work in the nation’s fields and orchards, with a variety of activities March 31 on the Colorado State campus.
Activities for the Cesar Chavez celebration will include live music; presentations that will highlight the conditions of migrant workers; educational displays; and "Comida de migrantes," a free meal representative of a typical migrant meal, which will be provided by Consuelo’s restaurant. All events are free and open to the public.
In 1956, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association to support the rights of migrant workers, and the name of the organization was eventually changed to the United Farm Workers. In 1965, Chavez and the NFWA led a strike of California grape pickers to demand higher wages and 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. These and other non-violent actions brought visibility to social injustice and the plight of migrant farm workers. Chavez built numerous diverse coalitions, including students, middle class consumers, trade unionists, religious groups and minorities, to help people of all ethnicities and cultures.
Chavez died 12 years ago, but communities across America who were inspired by Chavez to seek social justice and civil rights for the poor and disenfranchised in our society continue to celebrate his legacy.
Below is a list of events scheduled at Colorado State University for "A Tribute: Social Justice – Our Responsibility."
March 1-March 31
Clothing drive to benefit migrant workers in Northern Colorado. Drop-off locations are located throughout the city, including resident halls on the Colorado State campus; International House; Aggie Lory Apartments; El Centro; Black Student Services; Native American Student Services; Poudre Valley Hospital; Fort Collins Board of Realtors; and the Human Rights, Resource and Education Office.
11 a.m. – Performance by Harris Bilingual students and scenes from "A Day without a Mexican," followed by a discussion in the Sunken Lounge in the Lory Student Center on campus.
– Live music in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student center on campus.
– Free "Comida de migrantes," in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center on campus.
– Children’s activities in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center on campus.
– Displays from student organizations, campus offices and educational displays about Chavez and migrant worker tools in the Main Ballroom in the Lory Student Center on campus.
– Presentations will highlight the lives and living conditions of migrant workers in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center on campus.
Event sponsors include the city of Fort Collins Human Rights Resource and Education Office, Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado State University, Consuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, Fort Collins Coloradoan, KRFC 88.9, Northern Colorado Multicultural Corporation, Pepsi, Poudre Valley Health System Foundation and Alma Vigo-Morales.