Anthony Chavez, grandson of activist Cesar Chavez spoke at an assembly for students at Marylin Avenue Elementary School on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Anthony Chavez, 25, grew up participating with his grandfather in United Farm Workers’ marches, rallies and political campaigns. He speaks before numerous student and community groups on behalf of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, established by the Chavez family, to further his grandfather’s life and work. Anthony also speaks out to students to foster relationships with one another based on commonalities instead of rivalries. Anthony is a recent graduate CSU Bakersfield.
During his visit to Marylin School, Anthony shared the legacy of his grandfather. Cesar Chavez was a civil rights, Latino and farm labor leader; a genuinely religious and spiritual figure; a community organizer and social entrepreneur; a champion of nonviolent social change; and a crusader for the environment and consumer rights. Cesar Chavez spent many years coordinating voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, leading campaigns against racial and economic discrimination. He founded the National Farm Workers Association which later became the United Farm Workers of America. Founding the union was a leap of faith, not just because the odds were against him, but also because he still had serious doubts; he questioned how he would make it succeed. Over four decades, Cesar Chavez saw his share of defeats, but also historic victories. Under Cesar, the United Farm Workers of America achieved unprecedented gains for farm workers, establishing it as the first successful farm workers union in American history. Anthony shares his grandfather’s experiences in order to inspire and motivate students to persevere through adversity.
As he spoke to students, Anthony focused on the importance of education and encouraged students to plan a community service project as they celebrate Cesar Chavez Day on 3/31. By the end of the assembly, students were excited to talk about how they might plan and become involved in serving the community.