To honor Cesar Chavez Day, I spent time volunteering at local schools in Seattle. I had the opportunity to share C Is for Change with students and it was a great to see the kids excited to learn about such a prominent hero in American history! This was the first time that many of them had even been introduced to the story of Cesar Chavez and they were intrigued by his dedication along with the vivid handcrafted pictures of the United Farm Workers movement in the book.
Cesar Chavez has impacted my life tremendously because each day he inspires me to be a voice for the voiceless. Through C Is for Change, I have been able to bridge a gap between the courageous story of Chavez and the upcoming generation of change makers. If it weren’t for Chavez, I wouldn’t have been inspired to write the book and partner with the National Chavez Center to help bring equality and justice to fruition. Chavez is a hero to many individuals young and old, but many of us have never had the opportunity to speak with him. If I had this opportunity, I would thank him for his service to our country and seek his advice on confronting racism in America. This is an issue that unfortunately still exists today even though we’ve come so far through the civil rights movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I feel that Chavez would give outstanding words of wisdom derived from his leadership in the United Farm Workers movement. He was a civil rights activist for Latinos and farm workers of all races.
When I think about what Chavez would say regarding C Is for Change if he was alive today, I think about the quote from Magdaleno Leno Rose-Avila, founding director of the Cesar Chavez Foundation who said, “The children were always precious to Cesar,” adding “Arlene with this book is building a foundation of hope… allowing youth to dream a better world and giving them an example of a man whose legacy continues to help us work to make our dreams a reality.” I hope that if Chavez was here with us that he could see my thirst for social justice and my passion for promoting his story to the next generation.
Although, Chavez is no longer with us, many Latinos in Hollywood, politics, and the community are the current Latino civil rights activists. People like Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Mario Lopez, Carlos Santana, Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers are able to guide the conversation of providing equal rights to people of color. Also, there are a number of Latino news networks like Univision and journalists such as Juan Castillo at NBC News who continue to lead this conversation through multiple media platforms. I had the opportunity to speak with Juan a week ago about C Is for Change, what I hope children will gain from reading the book and my background on why I wrote it. To read the full article, visit this link: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/c-change-author-wants-next-generation-know-cesar-chavez-n332776.