“We shall strike. We shall organize boycotts. We shall demonstrate and have political campaigns. We shall pursue the revolution we have proposed…We will build power through boycotts, strikes, new union – whatever techniques we can develop. These attacks on the status quo will come, not because we hate, but because we know America can construct a humane society for all its citizens….” “Sí Se Puede!”
On the morning of March 17th, 1966, 75 Filipino and Latino grape farm workers tired of inhumane working conditions, embarked on a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento to demand fair wages and safe working conditions. “Sí se puede!” was chanted with conviction along the 340-mile journey. “Yes, we can!” they yelled as they took a stand against decades of exploitation. They grew 10,000 strong once they reached the capitol. Among the farm workers and supporters was leader and organizer of the group, César E. Chávez. Chávez led the strike that lasted more than five years and grew to include an international boycott. The tactical strike ended with a historical victory- a first ever contract between growers and farm workers called the United Farm Workers. This pivotal contract set the foundation for victories in civil rights and labor movements, two campaigns intricately connected to the environmental movement.
César E. Chávez, among so many other incredible activists of the time, showed us the power of the people. He showed us that change for a better future is within our power. Sí se puede! He showed us that there is still a fighting chance even when the weight of economic, racial, and environmental injustices paralyzes our communities. Sí se puede! He showed us that when we organize and stand side by side, when we rise in solidarity, the chorus of our voices demanding a better world for all cannot and will not be ignored. Sí se puede!
Stand beside us on March 31st during our Annual César Chávez Day of Service, as we honor his revolutionary work and continue to build on his legacy of activism. Join us in celebration of César E. Chávez by contributing to sustainable and healthy living in historically underserved communities. Together we can create a more equitable and just world for all. For more info about this year’s Annual César Chávez Day of Service visit:More info