Voice for the People: No Grapes Today

Cesar ChavezI had almost forgotten that today is Cesar Chavez Day.

Who is he? He represented the voice of the migrant farm workers, and his most memoriable campaigns was the boycotting of grapes; this brought the issues and awareness of healthcare, fair wage, and other rights for migrant farm workers to a national level.
The late Senator Robert Kennedy called Cesar Chavez, “"One of the heroic figures of our time."” As a testimony to his lifelong contributions to humanity, he received the highest civilian awards from the United States and Mexico, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Aguila Azteca respectively. More at California Service Corps ->
One of my jobs in college was Food Service Advisor, and I remember supporting this boycott. The duties of the position included making sure the food service provider (Marriott) delivered on the contract, conducting student surveys to determine dining needs, negotiating changes in meal plans, etc. A big win for me was negotiating the exchange of one of the breads for tortilla for all meal periods, not just on "Mexican Food Night." Another win was to initiate a brown bag program for students with class schedule conflicts. I made it clear that surveys showed that students did not want grapes available. This was a fun, yet rewarding, job.

Links of interest:
California Service Corps - Seeks to provide meaningful forms of volunteerism and service to the people of California who want to strengthen and support their state through service.
Cesar Chavez Foundation - The mission of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation is to maximize human potential to improve communities by preserving, promoting and applying the legacy and universal values of civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez.
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another point of view ...

Blogger Featheriver

He was a good man who did good things. Its disappointing that he wasn't able to help the migrant farm workers more.

Anonymous Rick


I remember boycotting grapes, too. My friends thought it was silly, but I believed in what Cesar was doing. I was hanging out in San Diego, near the border, at the time, so this was a hot topic.

Thanks for the reminder. - Rick

Anonymous Ron Evans

I think it's great that there's a Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco (used to be Army Street). It's too bad that streets named after civil rights leaders (like Martin Luther King, etc) often run through dilapidated neighborhoods.

- Ron Evans

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