Colorado State University Honors Cesar Chavez with Events March 24-April 1

Beginning March 24, student groups at Colorado State University will join the Fort Collins community to host a weeklong celebration in honor of Cesar Chavez, a celebrated Mexican-American activist.

Chavez died in 1993, but his legacy is honored with the annual celebration of his birthday on March 31 as a holiday in four U.S. states including Colorado. This year’s celebration, called “Haremos, Podemos, Debemos (We Will, We Can, We Must),”will feature entertainment and speakers to educate students and community members on the importance of civil rights activism.

The kick-off event – a screening of “Papers the Movie” followed by a facilitated discussion – will be at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24 in the Clark building Room A 201 on campus. The movie tells the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. It focuses on young people who were born outside the United States and raised in this country. The movie looks at how the youth were educated in American schools, hold American values and know only the United States as home.

A screening of the documentary “Swift Justice” followed by a panel discussion will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 29 at the Lory Student Center Theatre. The movie is about the raid of six Swift meat packing plants in 2006 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement workers which initiated a heated debate about the place of undocumented works and their exploitation by employers. Co-producers Mateos Alvarez and Julie Speer explore the context and ramifications of the raid through interviews with people on both sides of the issue – from the impact on families coping with legal troubles and sudden loss of income to the morality of current immigration statutes.

On Tuesday, March 30, the celebratory event History is Legacy will be held from 11:30a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Commons. The event will celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez with music and student performers and educate the community about the importance of social justice.

Also featured on Tuesday, March 30, is the "Nuestras Canciones", a narrative concert featuring the music, and words of the Chicano Movement. Featuring the words of Rudolfo Corky Gonzales, Cesar Chavez, Reies Lopez Tijerina, Dolores Huerta, Lalo Delgado, Ruben Salazar, and the music of Daniel Valdez, Augustin Lira, Tony Garcia, El Teatro Campesino and more, the event will be presented by Su Teatro at 7 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Theatre.

The Community Celebration and High School Awards will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballrooms. The event will feature entertainers, food, reflections on the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and the Annual Cesar Chavez High School Awards.

The final event, “500 Years of Chicano History” by Jesus “Chuy” Negrete will be from 11:30a.m. – 1 p.m. April 1 from in the Lory Student Center Room 230. Negrete is the founder and director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Chicago, Ill. As a musicologist, he is dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of Mexican American folkways and family values through cultural and educational programming. Hailed as a “magical person” and entertainer, Negrete has the ability to educate and raise his audience to tremendous levels of emotion. The event will feature a rich history told through the singing of corridos (running ballads).

Colorado State sponsors of the celebration are Apartment Life, Campus Activities, CSU Bookstore, Department of Ethnic Studies, El Centro, GUIDE, Multicultural Greek Council, Office of Equal Opportunity, Resources for Disabled Students, vice president for Student Affairs Parents Fund, Delta Xi Nu, Sigma Lambda Beta and Pi Lambda Chi.

Fort Collins community sponsors are Consuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, Pepsi and the Poudre School District.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information visit or contact Lance Wright at (970) 491-6921 or or Rich Salas at (970) 491-0590