March 28, 2003

A Growing Legacy

Commemorating César Chávez on the 10th anniversary of his passing

By: Andres F. Irlando

Almost a decade after his passing, César Chávez’s legacy continues to have a positive impact on our nation. This is evidenced by César Chávez Day of Service and Learning, an official holiday in five states and dozens of cities and counties throughout the nation; the recent unveiling of the César E. Chávez Commemorative Postage Stamp; the many parks, streets and schools named after César; photo exhibits chronicling his life; hundreds of murals depicting César and his work; and by the multitude of musicals, plays and movie scripts, all attempting to address the life of this humble man who made an indelible mark on contemporary American society.

From the fields of the Southwest to urban centers across the country César’s struggle for justice, dignity and equality resonate with Americans from all walks of life, inspiring them to make a difference in their own lives and in their communities through service to others. With each passing year the Foundation continues to experience more and more people taking up César’s call to service.

Chávez Day has become synonymous with service and this year is no exception. The Foundation will work with thousands of Americans across the country to honor César’s life and work by engaging in service-learning projects on and around the day.

The Foundation, in conjunction the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GO SERV), will host a number of “Keeping the Legacy Alive” workshop and training sessions in California to provide local communities with information for creating and enhancing service projects. The training sessions were held statewide during the first week of March. In addition, our Speakers Bureau receives countless requests for speakers to share César’s life and example with communities across the country, further advancing his legacy.

As part of the 10th Anniversary activities to honor César’s life, the Foundation is also planning the Third Annual Educating the Heart Dinner on April 11 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, which will highlight the vast promise César’s vital legacy holds for future generations in creating positive social change.

The Foundation is also working with the United States Postal Service on the first day of issuance of the César E. Chávez commemorative stamp, which will be held in Los Angeles on April 23. Additionally, the Foundation will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the César E. Chávez Memorial Gardens in La Paz, in Keene, California in June.

This is an exciting year for the Foundation and we thank you for your continued support and steadfast commitment to carrying on César’s dream for a better world.

Andres F. Irlando is Executive Director of the César E. Chávez Foundation.

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