CPS students completed a month-long observance of Cesar E. Chavez month by gathering at Juarez Community Academy on Saturday, April 06, 2013. Cultural dancers began the day by honoring the leaders who have fought for justice throughout the generations.
Following the opening ceremony, students participated in workshops designed to help students explore the connection between Chavez and current issues facing our communities. Many of the workshop focused on the arts and enabled students to create posters, drums, etc. that were used during a commemorative march through Pilsen.
In 1966, Cesar Chavez and farmworker activists embarked on a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento. The intent of the march was to draw attention to the injustices suffered by farmworkers in California. As the farmworkers approached the state capitol in Sacramento, one of the major vineyards agreed to recognize the farmworker's union - a major victory for the United Farm Workers. But Chavez was not just interested in marching for justice for farm workers, he was also deeply committed to the values of faith and a commitment to non-violence that he wanted to re-assert in the movement. CPS students on Saturday conducted their own march punctuated by chants, drums, and calls for justice to affirm the work of Chavez and practice their own first amendment rights.
Throughout the month of March, more than 1400 CPS students participated in service and action projects across the city. Each of the 45 projects directly connected to the life, work and values of Cesar E. Chavez. Students served in food pantries, marched with union laborers and groups demanding immigration reform, worked with immigrants preparing for their citizenship exams, packaged goods for re-distribution in the community, worked with children on literacy skills, and gathered stories of immigrants.
For the ninth consecutive year, CPS honors this great leader. Cesar E. Chavez embodied so many of the values that continue to be important as communities struggle to find and assert their identities and engage in the struggle for justice. Los estudiantes estan in la lucha por justicia! We raise and answer the question: Companeros se puede? Si, se puede!