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UC San Diego Salutes César Chávez Day with Month of Activities in April

Chicano Legacy 40 Años

The Chicano Legacy 40 Años mosaic, which covers the east wall of Peterson Hall on campus is a collage of vivid colorful images and features iconic figures such as César E. Chávez and Dolores Huerta and San Diego landmarks Chicano Park and the Coronado Bridge. Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

The life and achievements of César E. Chávez will be celebrated with a series of events throughout the month of April at the University of California, San Diego. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the United Farm Workers (UFW), co-founded by Cesar Chávez and fellow activist Dolores Huerta. The legacy of Chávez and the UFW will be recognized with events at UC San Diego including a concert, cultural celebration, community fair, film screenings, discussions with activists and scholars, a youth essay contest and student field trip.

Chávez’s birthday on March 31 is a statewide holiday and is observed by UC San Diego March 30.

“This year’s celebration is especially extraordinary because it marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Farm Workers Union,” said Jorge Mariscal, literature professor and chair of the UC San Diego César E. Chávez Recognition Planning Committee. “In 1962, with very few resources, Chávez, Huerta and their Pilipino allies organized workers living in horrible conditions––child labor, inferior housing, low pay and high rates of cancer from pesticides.  Over time, the UFW inspired pride in many Mexican-Americans and its legacy of service and sacrifice continues today.”    

At noon, April 3 in the Price Center patio, a community organization fair will feature local San Diego volunteer groups that carry on the legacy of service taught by Chávez and the UFW.  A free concert will take place at the same time with Quinazo, featuring local musician/activist Quino (formerly of Big Mountain), with special guests Ricardo Sanchez and Mark Moses.

Chicano Legacy 40 Años

César E. Chávez featured on the Chicano Legacy 40 Años mosaic.

At 4 p.m. on April 12 in the UC San Diego Cross-Cultural Center, LeRoy Chatfield will present his recollections of the early years of the UFW.  Chatfield was a chief advisor to Chávez from 1962 to 1972.

The César E. Chávez Celebration official opening is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on April 10 at the International Center.  Proceeds from the $5 lunch go to the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana y Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA’s) Raza Graduation in June.

Other activities in the month-long salute to Chávez include:

  • Special screening of “Fight in the Fields,” Noon, March 28. Geisel Library, Seuss Room. The film chronicles the UFW’s struggle to win fair living conditions for farmworkers in California. 
  • 34th Annual Cultural Celebration, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 7. UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College campus. The event features music, dance, food and art from around the world.
  • Field trip to Chicano Park for the 42st Celebration of the Park in Barrio Logan, 11:30 a.m., April 21. The trip for UC San Diego students includes food, vendors, entertainment and free transportation. Presented by Center for Student Involvement.
  • Summer Bridge 35th Anniversary, All day, April 28. Center Hall and Price Center. Presented by OASIS and Summer Bridge

The UC San Diego César E. Chávez Recognition Planning Committee is made up of student and staff volunteers from across the UC San Diego campus. For further information on the month of activities, call (858) 822-4059.


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