Today is Cesar Chavez Day, a state holiday, if you live in California, Colorado, or Texas. It is Cesar Chavez’ birthday, and he would have been 87 years old.
His dedication, as a nonviolent civil rights activist, to the lives and labors of farm workers changed forever their working and living conditions. Wages, housing, toilet facilities in the fields, restrictions on pesticides used on the fruits and vegetables to be harvested; simple expectations and conditions we all take for granted, but had to be fought for in another time and place.
Speaking, fasting, boycotting, negotiating; these were the tools and methods used to foment and accomplish a vision, a revolution. And marching. Delano to Sacramento, March, 1966. I was there, and can testify to the power of a unified group of people, drawn to a cause larger than themselves. A tidal wave of commitment that would not be stanched, would not be deterred, would not be diluted by fear or fatigue.
Margaret Mead said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have”. I thank Cesar Chavez for changing our world. And his slogan? Si, se puede! Yes, it can be done!