Cesar Chavez Celebration and Art Contest

Cesar Chavez Celebration
Photo courtesy of Brookfield Zoo.

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]oin us in honoring the legacy of late Latino activist Cesar Chavez. Interact and take photos with one of our animal ambassadors, make a special United Farm Workers’ flag with our friends from No Manches Clothing, learn about science and engineering from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (UIC), and enjoy the art submitted by contestants of this year’s “Words of Cesar Chavez” art contest.

Cesar Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union (UFW).

A Mexican-American, 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. His legacy and work continues today.

To enter the contest, use the words of Cesar Chavez to create artwork that inspires service, leadership and social justice for everyone. Winners will be awarded on March 28 at 1 p.m.
Alexandra Sossa, executive director of Farmworker & Landscaper Advocacy Project, will be the special keynote speaker. Sossa has more than 25 years of experience performing outreach for migrant and seasonal workers in the agricultural and landscaping industries. She has a long history of public service dating back to her work with coffee plantation workers in Colombia, where she also worked for nearly a decade with the Attorney General’s Office.

The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, March 20. Go to czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO to learn how you can send your artwork in. Finalists will be notified after March 20 and final contest winners will be recognized at the Cesar Chavez Celebration at Brookfield Zoo on March 28. The winning artwork will be displayed at Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center from March 28 through April 10.

Visit the State of Illinois website for the Cesar Chavez Serve and Learn Program at illinois.gov/serve/Pages/cesar_chavez.aspx and the California Department of Education website at chavez.cde.ca.gov for more information about Cesar Chavez.

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