Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez
  • Born: March 31, 1927
  • Died: April 23, 1993
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Labor Leader, Civil Rights Activist

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38

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176

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Cesar Chavez was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. Originally a Mexican American farm worker, Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers' struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… human life and limb are a very special possession given by God to man and that no one has the right to take that away, in any cause, however just... Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride...When people see it they know it means dignity Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return Leaders & Leadership
Every time we look at them, they want more money. Like pigs … Here we’re slaving, and we’re starving, and the god-damned workers don’t give a shit about anything. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Farm workers are involved in the planting and the cultivation and the harvesting of the greatest abundance of food known in this society. They bring in so much food to feed you and me and the whole country and enough food to export to other places. The ironic thing and the tragic thing is that after they make this tremendous contribution, they don't have any money or any food left for themselves Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
Farm workers are not agricultural implements; they are not beasts of burden to be used and discarded.
From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength. Human Nature ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless. History
History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless. History
If you are going to organize and ask for commitment, you cannot go to the most desperately poor. They are not likely to take action. If you stand on a man's head and push it into the dirt, he may not even see the heel of your boot. But if his whole face is already above ground, he can see your heel and he can see freedom ahead. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
In this world it is possible to achieve great material wealth, to live an opulent life. But a life built upon those things alone leaves a shallow legacy. In the end, we will be judged by other standards Religion & God
It is not enough to teach our young people to be successful...so they can realize their ambitions, so they can earn good livings, so they can accumulate the material things that this society bestows. Those are worthwhile goals. But it is not enough to progress as individuals while our friends and neighbors are left behind Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It takes a lot of punishment to be able to do anything to change the social order. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It's amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease. When the poor share some of the power that the affluent now monopolize, we will give a damn. Energy ;Public Opinion & Polling
Just as Dr. King was a disciple of Gandhi and Christ, we must now be Dr. King's disciples. Dr. King challenged us to work for a greater humanity. I only hope that we are worthy of his challenge. Leaders & Leadership
Nice guys do not change the world, Hard headed guys do. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Our sweat and our blood have fallen on this land to make other men rich. The pilgrimage is a witness to the suffering we have seen for generations Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Our very lives are dependent, for sustenance, on the sweat and sacrifice of the campesinos. Children of farm workers should be as proud of their parents' professions as other children are of theirs Families, Children & Parenting
Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. Minorities & Women
Somehow, the guys in power have to be reached by counter-power, or through a change in their hearts and minds, or change will not come. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The consumer boycott is the only open door in the dark corridor of nothingness down which farm workers have had to walk for many years. It is a gate of hope through which they expect to find the sunlight of a better life for themselves and their families. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
The end of all education should surely be service to others Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
The name of the game is to talk to people. If you don't talk to people, you can't get started...You knock on twenty doors or so, and twenty guys tell you to go to hell, or that they haven't got time. But maybe at the fortieth or sixtieth house you find the one guy who is all you need. You're not going to organize everything; you're just going to get it started. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
The picket line is the best place to train organizers. One day on the picket line is where a man makes his commitment. The longer on the picket line, the stronger the commitment. A lot of workers think they make their commitment by walking off the job when nobody sees them. But you get a guy to walk off the field when his boss is watching and, in front of the other guys, throw down his tools and march right to the picket line, that is the guy who makes our strike. The picket line is a beautiful thing because it makes a man more human. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
The strike and the boycott, they have cost us much. What they have not paid us in wages, better working conditions, and new contracts, they have paid us in self-respect and human dignity Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
There is a great fear of our Union -- a fear that I do not fully understand, but that I know is present...What is it that causes some men to act so hastily and so cruelly? It cannot be that we are so powerful. Is it so much to ask that the poorest people of the land have a measure of justice? Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
We are poor and our allies are few, but we have our bodies and justice as our tools. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
We are sons of the Mexican Revolution, a revolution of the poor seeking, bread and justice. Our revolution will not be armed, but we want the existing social order to dissolve, we want a new social order. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own Development & Growth
We don't know how God chooses martyrs. We do know that they give us the most precious gift they possess — their very lives. Religion & God
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
What do we want the Church to do? We don't ask for more cathedrals. We don't ask for bigger churches of fine gifts. We ask for its presence with us, beside us, as Christ among us. We ask the Church to sacrifice with the people for social change, for justice, and for love of brother. We don't ask for words. We ask for deeds. We don't ask for paternalism. We ask for servanthood. Religion & God
What is at stake is human dignity. If a man is not accorded respect he cannot respect himself and if he does not respect himself, he cannot demand it. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
When we are honest with ourselves we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. Miscellaneous
You are never strong enough that you don't need help. Human Nature
You cannot uneducate 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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity. Life ;Time ;Religion & God
Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.
Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity? Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves - and be free.
The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.
There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance. Patience ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.
We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation.
When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.
Who gets the risks? The risks are given to the consumer, the unsuspecting consumer and the poor work force. And who gets the benefits? The benefits are only for the corporations, for the money makers. Money, Coins & Minting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force