Reflecting on César Chávez Day3/31/2021
In 2014, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31st as César Chávez Day. Today we celebrate and honor the life and work of César Chávez who is considered by many to be the Mexican American hero of civil rights for farm workers and the migrant community. His legacy has become even more relevant during this pandemic. The many ways in which we depend on farm workers has been evident over this last year. Without a doubt, they are the foundation of our society and that without them, and without their work, we would be lost.
César Chávez’ influence in our community is undeniable. In 2010, as a result of community engagement and advocacy, Portland Public Schools renamed one of its schools in his honor. César Chávez School embodies a rich and diverse cultural heritage that can be felt in each of its students. I feel incredibly proud of how each of you, and every PPS student, channels César Chávez’ “¡Sí se puede!” (Yes, we can!) energy to lead change and improve the world.
I will close with a few words from César Chávez: “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” - César Chávez