Public Affairs

CSU Campuses Celebrate Chavez and Spirit of Service

Fresno State renews Chavez tradition with garlanding ceremony
Fresno State renews Chavez tradition with garlanding ceremony.

April 2, 2010
By Teresa Ruiz

The spirit of "service and community" was in the air during the month of March as several California State University campuses took time to honor the late, non–violent civil rights leader and labor activist Cesar E. Chavez. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members gathered in the California State University, Fresno Peace Garden for a week-early celebration of the Cesar E. Chavez state holiday on March 31. Highlights of the event were remarks by Chavez’s 24-year-old grandson Anthony Chavez and professor emeritus of social work education Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, as well as music and dance. The ceremony ended with Kapoor and Chavez placing a garland of red carnations around the bronze statue of the late farm labor leader in the garden.

At CSU Channel Islands, the campus celebrated Chavez’s values of "Service to Others" and "Respect for Life and the Environment" with a blood drive, community volunteer fair and special presentation exploring media messages about food, agriculture and the environment. CSU Stanislaus proved Chavez’s motto "ˇSí, se puede!", translated "Yes, it can be done!", is alive and well with their celebration last week. The day’s events included a march based on events in Chavez’s life, inspiring speeches, live musical and dance performances, as well as the award of  winners of local poster and essay contests. In April, San Diego State University plans to pay tribute to Chavez with its eighth annual commemorative luncheon, in which all proceeds will go to SDSU’s Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Scholarship Fund.

Nearly two decades after his death, one thing is clear -- Chavez’s legacy as a community organizer, advocacy work to protect and serve farm workers, and spirit of promoting social justice and civil rights lives on in the CSU. For more information visit the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.