Every year on March 31 Americans pause to honor the legacy of a man who fought for social and economic justice for farm workers, leading to the creation of what would become known as the United Farm Workers. March 31, 1927 was the birthday of César Chávez. He was born in Yuma, Arizona.
In 1994 César Chávez was awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously. His wife, Helen, accepted the award from President Bill Clinton.
His story of peaceful strikes and boycotts and tireless efforts on behalf of migrant farm workers is repeated in many publications and taught in many schools, so that his message will not be forgotten. In the Phoenix area there are several places where you'll see his name.
- The César Chávez Community School in South Phoenix is in the Roosevelt Elementary District School District. The community in which the school, is located is more than 95% percent Hispanic, and more than 80% of the families in that area have incomes at or below the poverty level.
- César Chávez High School is in Laveen, Arizona, which is in southwest Phoenix. Approximately 70% of the students there are Hispanic.
- In January 2007, the César E. Chávez Regional Branch Library opened near the high school, at 35th Avenue and Baseline. It is a 25,000 square foot Regional Library serving the communities of Laveen and South Mountain. This library includes a computer training lab, a first five years area, a children's story room, a community meeting room, more than 50 Internet computers, a 1,000 square foot state of the art teen space, and a 150,000 volume collection including newspapers and magazines, books, DVDs and CDs.
- César Chávez Park is right across the street from the César E. Chávez Regional Branch Libary.
- César Chávez Plaza an area outside the Calvin C. Goode Building in downtown Phoenix, at Third Avenue and Washington.
- In the southwest corner of the State of Arizona is a city named San Luis, where you'll find César Chávez Street.
César E. Chávez Foundation
The Arizona Office is located at 3602 West Thomas, Suite 6, Phoenix, AZ 85019. You can call them at 602-272-0080.