CHAVEZ’s legacy lives on

Mar 302005
Authors: Tim Pennington


11 a.m. -Harris Bilingual Elementary School performance and scenes from "A

Day Without a Mexican"

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.-Live Music

—Free "Comida de migrantes," Burritos from Consuelos Mexican Restaurant

—Children's activities

—Displays from student organizations

ALL EVENTS: Lory Student Center Main Ballroom

Cesar Chavez spent his life fighting to improve the working conditions for Hispanic and immigrant people who worked the fields and orchards.

Today marks the Cesar Chavez Day Celebration at CSU, with many activities planned to educate the community about one man's struggle to change the world.

Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1956, providing a voice for migrant people.

"We need to commemorate a man who gave people who didn't have a voice, a chance," said Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro Student Services. "It's great for CSU to put value on people that are left out of the history books."

El Centro has partnered with many different groups to plan a day of celebration and reflection on Chavez's achievements.

"I think it's great to create awareness about something that a lot of people don't know about," said Zulema Sierra, a sophomore technical journalism major. "Migrant workers are still a big issue today."

Events today are focusing on Chavez's accomplishments and looking toward what can be done in the future to further the rights of migrant workers.

"Chavez did so much for not only Hispanics and migrant workers, but for the rest of the country," said Jacquie Guerrero, Edwards Hall office manager and an activist for more than 35 years. "Just look at how he changed the economy."

One important tradition is the clothing drive, which has been going on the entire month. The drive benefits the migrant workers of Northern Colorado by providing them with clothes that may not be readily available to them.

"We still need more clothes. We're going to give the workers something they can't afford," Sierra said. "It's great to do something good for someone else."

Numerous locations around Fort Collins are available for clothing drop-off including two resident halls on campus , Lory Apartments and El Centro.

"The clothing drive is an important opportunity for CSU students to make a difference in making a positive impact in the families of Colorado," Salas said.

Chavez died 12 years ago but still continues to inspire social change and improve attitudes toward the migrant workers.

"Chavez took his vision all over the world. People don't realize how much he's changed for us all," Guerrero said.

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