John E. Conner Museum to honor Cesar Chavez

John E. Conner Museum to honor Cesar Chavez

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In honor of the civil rights work of César Chavez, the John E. Conner Museum at Texas A&M University-Kingsville will be displaying “In his own words: The Life and Work of Cesar Chavez,” March 3 through April 14.
The exhibit is associated with the annual César Chavez March, Wednesday, March 28 at 11:30 a.m. and is organized by pre-law society student organization and Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society.
Chavez left a legacy in the Hispanic community as a civil rights activist for American farm workers.  Along with Dolores Huerta, Chavez co-founded the first National Farmer Workers’ Union, in 1962. Once a farm worker himself, Chavez dealt with racial discrimination and sought justice and equality for the migrant farm workers.
“Chavez was well aware of the struggles of farm workers for better income, health benefits, housing and safer working conditions,” said Marco Iníguez-Alba, lecturer of Spanish and Hispanic Studies and advisor of Sigma Delta Pi, Spanish Honor Society.
“Chavez brought the attention to America that considered itself a first-class nation, the Third World conditions the farm workers lived in,” Iníguez-Alba said.
Among the many conditions farm workers endured were poor living conditions in unsanitary small camps with no pluming or electricity, along with low income and harsh labor and pesticide poisoning.
“Chavez was the voice for both migrant and immigrant workers,” Iníguez-Alba said. “Immigrants could not protest their rights to be treated as second-class citizens, lest they be fired and replaced.”
Chavez got through to people with nonviolent tactics (boycotts, marches, fasting, pickets, and strikes).
Jonathan Plant, Conner Museum Curator, said Chavez was a man devoted to civil rights and progress for farm workers and Hispanics.
“Cesar Chavez was a man with ambition and drive in his pursuits in his civil rights movements. He advocated non- violence. If a man can make a difference without violence then he is a man being worth admired,” Plant said.
Chavez died April 23, 1993.
The showcase was produced by Humanities Texas Traveling Exhibit.