CSU Stanislaus will host its fifteenth annual César E. Chávez Memorial Celebration on Thursday, March 25.
This free event is open to the public and will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Quad (or Carol Burke Lounge if there is rain). Dancers from Balet Folclórico, Los Falcones and Waterford After-School Danza Folclórico Mexicana will perform. Parents and children will have an opportunity to make their own United Farm Workers flag, and participate in a march led by the student theater club Teatro Los Hijos del Campo. The march will be based on events in César E. Chávez’s life. It will start at 6 p.m. in the Quad and end at the Event Center, just prior to the main program. The main program at the Event Center runs from 6:25 to 8 p.m. with the following activities:
* The keynote speaker will be Esteban Villa, a renowned artist, master muralist and co-founder of the Sacramento-based artists collective, Royal Chicano Air Force. Villa’s theme for his presentation will be, “César Chávez and the Royal Chicano Air Force,” in which he will discuss the mutual regard the artists of the RCAF and Chávez had for each other.
* César E. Chávez Poster and Essay Contest winners for the junior high and high school divisions will be announced and entries displayed. Mujeres Latinas of Stanislaus County are supporting this contest.
* The Higher Education Poster Contest winners honoring Chávez will be announced for CSU Stanislaus students. This contest is supported by the Latino Business Association of Modesto.
* Mariachi Rayos del Sol from César Chávez High School of Stockton will also perform.
César E. Chávez organized thousands of farm workers to the shout of ¡Huelga! in the 1960s and 1970s. The farm-workers movement gained the support of religious and political leaders around the world. Against overwhelming odds, the strike and boycott brought farm workers union representation and, ultimately, the revolutionary Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975. Chávez died in 1993 in the midst of a continuing struggle against the use of deadly pesticides in farm fields.