César Chávez was a Mexican American labor activist, civil rights advocate and leader of the United Farm Workers. During the 1960s and 70s, he was a leading voice for migrant farm workers. His leadership focused national attention on these laborers’ working conditions, which eventually led to improvements.
In 2008, President Obama proclaimed March 31 César Chávez Day in the United States, urging Americans to “observe this day with appropriate service.” Several states—California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin—observe the day by closing schools and state offices.
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about César Chávez, the strategies he used to create change for the migrant farm workers and to analyze and reflect on modern day civil rights and labor struggles.