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March 22, 2001
Contact: Tim Woodhull



California State University to celebrate first César Chávez Day with program commemorating his struggle for social justice

California State University, Dominguez Hills will celebrate César Chávez Day with the First Annual César Chávez Tardeada, a luncheon sponsored by the university’s Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LSFA) to commemorate the activist’s life-long struggle for social justice.

Born in 1927 in rural Yuma, Arizona, Chávez attended school for only a few years before leaving at age 10 to toil with his family in the farm fields of California.

After serving in the Navy, Chávez returned to the San Joaquin Valley to rejoin his parents and to help form the United Farm Workers to improve the living conditions of field workers.

For his efforts, Chavez received an Honorary Doctorate from Arizona State University and participated in commencement exercises in 1992. He died a year later but
his legacy has since grown.

In 1995, Chavez received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest possible civilian honor. In 1997, LIFE Magazine inducted Chávez into the LIFE Hall of Heroes, calling Chávez "the Ghandi of the fields, who rose to become one of America's greatest forces in the labor and civil rights movements." 

And, perhaps most poignant, the giant lettuce grower that Chávez had long battled signed a contract with the UFW three years after his death.

For all those reasons, “We are honoring the struggles and accomplishments of Cesar Chávez, who fought for better working conditions and believed in the power of education,” said Alonzo Rodriguez, associate vice president, Student Affairs, and LSFA president.

Admission to the event, which will include music, a luncheon, and a recognition ceremony, is $15. The luncheon will be Thursday, March 29, from noon to 2 p.m., at Loker University Student Union, 1000 East Victoria Street, Carson.

Tickets and further information can be obtained by contacting Octavio Cruz at  (310) 243-2128.