Campus Celebrates the Legacy of César Chávez

In honor of the late civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, San Bernardino Valley College hosted a special dinner celebrating his life and impact upon Chicano culture. On March 27th, SBVC’s Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, (M.E.Ch.A) club organized this event filled with delicious food, wonderful dancing and beautiful music that embraced their culture.   
 
Cesar Chavez is highly honored within the Chicano community, as his activism helped change the bad working conditions for people of different ethnic backgrounds. The event highlighted that his fight is still not over, and this generation must carry on the metaphorical baton of his hard work. Ed Gomez, a Chicano History teacher at SBVC, highlighted the importance of embracing Chicano culture and resisting against the acts of hate it may bring. During his speech, Gomez stated, “the struggles that Cesar Chavez faced were very real, unfortunately the struggles we face today are still very real.”

Those in attendance were moved by the powerful and motivational words spoken by Gomez. A fellow M.E.Ch.A member, most known at SBVC as “Blue”, followed up on his words stating, “now that [the younger generation] has the opportunity, go out there and take advantage of the opportunity.”  


Chavez, the son of migrant workers, also experienced backbreaking field work to support his family throughout his teen years, before serving two years in the Navy. From there, he co-founded what is now known as the United Farm Workers union, along with Dolores Huerta, who was also honored at SBVC recently. 


In the mid-60's, he pulled Latino and Filipino workers together to strike, he boycotted table grapes, and led the charge for fair wages and humane working conditions throughout his adult life. In 1968, the year of his 25-day food fast modeled after the nonviolent tenets of Gandhi, Chavez visited San Bernardino Valley College. 


The night was filled with bright colors and bright spirits. The crowd was entertained with Ballet Folklorico dancing, live music, and of course, some delicious food. Food options were not limited, as there were dishes for those who eat meat and for those who do not. Dessert was not forgotten either! After everyone finished eating their meal, cake was then served to those who wanted it. All food was served with a smile by M.E.Ch.A club members. At the end of the night, those in attendance got up from their seat and danced happily to some live music.

This special night left everyone feeling inspired and one with their own culture.