Cesar Chavez Day is more than just a day off


Sam Torres

The United Farm Workers flag is a symbol still used today to remember the movement that changed the lives of hard working people across the nation.

Sam Torres

Today is a day of remembrance for Cesar Chavez, the man who paved the way for workers’ rights and brought attention to the many people who work tirelessly in the fields to bring us the food we use every day.

Since 2014, Cesar Chavez Day has been an observed holiday in the United States and rightfully so. Cesar Chavez was one of the most influential activists in the late 20th century. With the founding of the United Farm Workers, he brought a legacy of justice and power to the many labor workers. His work largely impacted the immigrant community, empowered migrant farmworkers and brought hope to many laborers who still struggle with harsh working conditions and discrimination. His work and the union he created with Dolores Huerta today is still a symbol of resiliency and unity and peace as he utilized nonviolent methods of protesting to fight for workers’ rights like boycotting and marches. He went as far as holding hunger strikes to bring attention to his fight until his death in 1993, where he died from complications due to the strikes. 

With his peaceful yet impactful activism, he led Latino and working families in a fight against unjust treatment. His selflessness reflected the power of the movement that he dedicated his life to, to the people who work and sacrifice everything for a better life.  

Today, the activism that sparked from his cause is still strong not just for workers’ rights but for the rights of many people who suffer in our community today, such as immigrant rights. Growing up, I came from a family of hard-working Latinos who strived to make their work mean something to support everyone. This was something very important to me, that hard work is never done in vain, but to support everyone. This is why his work is influential to me. It was done to give the people who work tirelessly everywhere the rights they deserve. Not just for themselves, but for their families as well. 

Chavez once said,  “The fight is never about grapes or lettuce, it is always about people.” 

This quote shows the selflessness he had and the spirit he carried with his cause. That saying will live with me forever and motivate me in everything that I do so the better life I seek isn’t for myself, but for those around me as well. Observing Cesar Chavez Day is more than doing it for him, it’s for the people he fought for, who we fight for and continue to fight for.