Austin honors César Chávez legacy

Valentino Mauricio/For American-Statesman
Valentino Mauricio/For American-Statesman

While labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez advocated for farm worker rights, he also arrived in Austin in 1971 to lend his support to the local upholsterers union, which launched a strike against the Economy Furniture Co. and gained national attention. The workers sought better pay and benefits as well as the right to bargain collectively. And when Chávez spoke at a local march and rally, thousands came to listen.

March 31 marks César Chávez’s birthday, and across the country he’ll be honored with everything from marches to film screenings.

In Austin, community members are invited to gather on March 26 for the annual “Sí­ Se Puede” March at Terrazas Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St. Participants will assemble at 10 a.m. and march from the library to the Mariposa Centro Cultural at 4926 E. Cesar Chavez St., where there will be music, speakers and entertainment.

At the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center there will be a special screening and discussion of KLRU-TV’s documentary “Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights” on March 31. Doors for the screening open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7 p.m. An RSVP on klru.org is required for the free event, where co-producers Joe Rocha and Eve Tarlo will be present.

The MACC will continue César Chávez celebrations with a screening of the documentary “Cesar Chavez: The Fight in the Fields” at 9 p.m. on March 31. For more details visit austintexas.gov/esbmacc.

Author: Nancy Flores

Nancy Flores is a features writer who covers general assignments including Latino culture for the Austin American-Statesman and Austin360.

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