Commemorating the contributions of labor activist César Chávez, California State University, Chico is planning educational events, a special film screening and a day of service over the next week.
Chávez devoted his life work to improve treatment, pay and working conditions for farm workers, and his legacy is still felt today in other industries. 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.”
CSU, Chico joins other state universities, schools, and offices in honoring Chávez’s birthday and subsequently will be closed on Monday, April 1. This closure provides students and the Chico community the opportunity to participate in civic engagement.
Alejandra Becerra Silva, commissioner of Community Affairs for the University’s AS Government, said it’s important for CSU, Chico students to feel engaged and connected to their institution, and one way to do that is to care for its community.
“It’s important for our students to not only be connected to campus but also to Chico as a community because the community is where most of our students live and interact with on the daily,” she said. “César Chávez worked hard to make a change and so it’s very important that we use our day off to celebrate him and make a change in our own community.”
’Cats in the Community, an annual day of service, takes place on April 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students and members of the campus community can volunteer for a number of projects in the Chico community through Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), from restoration in Bidwell Park and cleaning at the Boys and Girls Club to helping at the Chico Animal Shelter and planting at the Organic Vegetable Project. Volunteers will meet in the Sutter Courtyard, then return after they volunteer to receive a free lunch.
CSU, Chico is proudly committed to service, with approximately 2,000 students annually engaged in over 60,000 volunteer hours through CAVE and an extensive civic engagement curriculum. To learn more about ’Cats in the Community, including volunteering, visit its website or contact program director Ann Schwab at 530-898-5940.
Additional events will take place in the days leading up to ’Cats in the Community to spread awareness and honor Chávez. On Wednesday, March 27 at 1 p.m., the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC) will host “Celebrating the Legacy: César Chávez” and facilitate conversations about cultural appropriation and the significance of César Chávez Day. The CCLC is located at Meriam Library, Room 172.
Then, on Thursday, March 28, a free screening of the film “César Chávez” will be shown in Sutter Courtyard at 8 p.m.
The week’s events are coordinated by AS Government and AS Community Affairs, MEChA, the CCLC, CAVE, and Hub Productions. For questions about this week’s events, contact Tray Robinson, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at 530-898-4764.
Those who require an accommodation in order to participate in one of the week’s activities or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.