I don't know if you know who Cesar Chavez is but he is a very important figure to a lot of people that have been marginalized and oppressed. Chavez fought for migrant farm worker rights when no one cared about them. Been an farm worker himself, he knew of the long hard hours spent in the field with very little pay. He saw how farm workers were being treated unfair and in he knew it was not right. Though he lacked education (He had to drop out in 7th grade to help his family out and become a farm worker), he had passion and determination to lead farm workers to create unions for their rights.His successful non-violent tactics,including protests, strikes and boycotts helped farm workers gain rights they deserved.
Being such a prominent figure that dedicated his life to social justice to some of the most underserved people in the U.S., Cesar Chavez Day on March 31 is celebrated to commemorate his life. At the University of Texas at El Paso, a university where 76% of the students are Hispanic, Cesar Chavez day is an important holiday. However the holiday was cancelled due to a decision from the Executive Council of Faculty Senate stating that the state could only take a certain limit of holidays a year and Cesar Chavez day did not make the cut.
Yesterday there was was a student protest at UTEP against this decision who feel that the decision is a lack of respect to Chavez's dedication for labor rights. Being that the university is a dominated by the Latino community, I think that even though the holiday is optional it should be a holiday that needs recognition in this area. Growing up, I didn't know the full meaning of Chavez. I was always taught about George Washington and John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and other great leaders but Chavez was just not mentioned in my history classes. Now that I'm getting to know this leader better, I feel a little robbed and mislead because I feel I should've learned about him in school. I'm glad that people are protesting against this because that creates media attention and then people become curious about who Chavez was and what he means to a lot of people.