Wednesday March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day. Although not an official day off for most people (some government offices are closed across the state) it is an important day to remember a strong civil rights activist who championed union rights and equality.
Chavez was born in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona. In 1942 he began his career as a farm worker. After serving in the U.S. Navy for two years he joined his first union in 1946–the National Agricultural Workers’ Union. For the next several years Chavez joined other unions, until he was recruited to join an activist group that fought economic and racial discrimination against Chicano residents. This was the beginning of his fight for justice and equality for Chicanos.
In 1958 Chavez helped to organize protests and boycotts in Oxnard, California against unemployment. For the next several decades he went on to organize boycotts and fight for rights for Chicanos, even facing jail time in the fight for his cause, as well as several notorious fasts where he did not eat for many days in protest.
Chavez died in 1993 and was posthumously awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom by President Clinton. Because of his work laws were created to protect workers in California and prevent discrimination. Chavez is a shining example of the importance of fighting for what it right and making a difference in the world for the better.
On this day we all should think of the men and women who, like Cesar Chavez, continue to fight for our freedom daily.