Chico State to Honor César Chávez Day with Events This Week
Joining other state universities, schools and offices, Chico State will recognize the efforts and sacrifice of activist César Chávez with more than a half dozen events on campus and in our community this week. In honor of Chávez’s birthday, the University will be closed on Friday, March 31, providing students and the Chico community the opportunity to participate in civic engagement inspired by Chávez and the meaning behind his life’s work.
The events will focus on education about Chávez and his legacy of activism and current state of farmworkers across the state. They also encourage the campus community to reflect upon his achievements and contributions and Chico State students to participate in civic engagement within their own community.
Yvette Zúñiga, associate director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, said her memories of picking cherries in Oregon and finishing the day in a layer of pesticides are what drive her to provide equitable access to education—and to ensure efforts by Chávez and others are remembered.
“Despite the risks involved during the pandemic and other natural weather disasters, farm workers have continued to work in the fields, packing houses and processing plants to ensure that fruits, vegetables and other crops reach consumers,” she said. “It is important to recognize the contributions of farm workers and advocate for their rights, as César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and so many others did—their labor is essential, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The events for the week include:
Farm Worker Supply Drive
March 20–30, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC), Meriam Library Room 172
Latinx Art Party
March 28, 12:30–2:30 p.m.; Arts and Humanities Building Room 130
Event sponsor Janet Turner Print Museum hosts the work of contemporary Mexican-American printmakers Juana Estrada Hernández and Humberto Saenz in its current exhibition Documenting Dreams | Documentando Sueños, with the opportunity to learn more about the collection’s Latinx artists.
Farm Worker Awareness Week: Farm Worker Panel
March 28, 3–5 p.m.; Bell Memorial Union Room 210
Two Chico State professors will discuss their experiences and research around farm workers in California and the US. The goal is to inform the community of the current political and social issues affecting farm workers and their families. Sponsored by MEChA.
Wildcat ROAR Presentation: Alcohol 101
March 29, 5:30–7:30 p.m.; Sutter Hall Room 276P
The Wildcats ROAR series begins with a conversation about alcohol. Join event sponsor WellCat Prevention for this peer-led presentation exploring how alcohol affects the body, the signs of alcohol poisoning and how to help a friend in need.
Farm Worker Awareness Week: Bandana Project
March 30, 12:30–2 p.m.; Trinity Commons
The Bandana Project uses white bandanas as a symbol of the sexual exploitation of farm worker women. Participants can decorate white bandanas to honor those who have taken action to hold perpetrators and their employers responsible for this violence. These bandanas are also a show of support to victims whose shame and fear prevent them from taking action. This empowered event is sponsored by MEChA and CCLC.
March 30, 7–9 p.m.; The Hub, Sutter Courtyard
Sponsored by The Hub, Lotería Night will feature free Conchas with chances to win prizes.
‘Cats in the Community
March 31, 9:30 a.m., check-in at the Student Services Center Plaza
The University’s signature event for this week allows students to give back to the Chico community through service work at more than 10 volunteer sites. These include The Boys and Girls Club of the North Valley, Esplanade House, Chico Area Parks and Recreation District, and Habitat for Humanity in Paradise. Pre-registration is encouraged. Sponsored by Associated Students CAVE.
As founder of the National Farm Workers Association in 1962—an organization which eventually became the United Farm Workers of America—Chávez influenced and inspired millions of Americans through his nonviolent tactics in the struggle for improved treatment, better pay and safer working conditions for farm workers. He devoted his life to this work, and his legacy is still felt today in other industries outside farming and agriculture.
Additionally, Chávez was instrumental in the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which established collective bargaining rights for farm workers. In 2014, President Barack Obama designated March 31 as César Chávez Day in his honor, urging Americans to use it as a day of service and education, noting, “Let us remember that when we lift each other up, when we speak with one voice, we have the power to build a better world.”
Those who require an accommodation to participate in any César Chávez Day events or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.