Honoring Cesar Chavez Day

Author: 
Aurora Martin

Columbia Legal Services joins thousands of others across the country honoring the legacy of Cesar Chavez and the many diverse generations of farm workers written into and out of history books. Those who are visible and invisible.

Lest our communities struggle separately, I think what Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and the movement for more inclusive civil rights was about then and still about today, is a persistent need to make room at the infinite table of justice – where our hunger and thirst are insatiable because the work for justice is lifelong. On a basic level, I am reminded of what a former client board member said to me about her work as a food server – at the end of the day, “Every one’s gotta’ eat, and it doesn’t matter how much you make or who you are.” There is a human dignity that our work aims to get at, even if the victories are few and far between.

For some Cesar Chavez Day is about today’s struggles for food justice. For others, it may be the intersectionality of labor, immigration and the transiency or otherness projected on immigrant communities who often through generations, have lived in the shadows. Still, for others, it may be that the legacy of farm worker history is really an American legacy rooted in the trajectory of imperialism, colonialism, and the oppressive political economy of agriculture.   

Columbia Legal Services understands that not everyone is celebrating the legacy of Cesar Chavez today. But, I hope that in some way this opportunity to celebrate the holiday will be a gesture that emboldens our advocacy into the future.

Si se puede, sigue pa.

Cesar Chavez

(Photo credit Joel Levine, licensed under Creative Commons)