Cesar Estrada Chavez was born March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Az. He died at age 66 on April 23, 1993 in San Luis, Az. Co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta. Cesar Chavez was a farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist. He is the best-known Latino American civil rights activist. His slogan was “Si, se puede” (“Yes, it is possible”). Since his death in 1993, California, Colorado, and Texas celebrate March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day. In 1942, Chavez graduated middle school and became a full time migrant farm worker. In 1952, Chavez stopped working in the fields, and began working for the Community Service Organization (CSO); Chavez became the program director in 1958. He encouraged Mexican Americans to vote while promoting workers rights. In 1962, Chavez joined forces with Dolores Huerta to form the National Farmers Association (NFWA) which was renamed United Farm Workers. On September 8, 1965, Chaves supported Filipino workers in their strike against the Delano grape strike. Six months later Chavez led workers on a strike from Delano to the capital in Sacramento, protesting for better wages. The movement was supported by Robert F. Kennedy during the March 1966 U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare’s Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. Chavez’s movement inspired the founding of Obreros Unidos in Wisconsin in 1966, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in Ohio in 1967, and later UFW organizers founded the Texas Farm Workers Union in 1975. Chavez adopted a Gandhi like approach and fasted several times emphasizing nonviolence and civil disobedience by farm workers. In 1972, Chavez fasted in response to legislation that prohibited boycotts and strikes by farm workers during the harvest seasons.
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