Loyola Marymount University students will put into practice an axiom labor leader Cesar Chavez lived by – that action is necessary to bring about change – when they cover the shifts of workers on campus so those workers can attend a Cesar Chavez Day service Thursday, March 26, in Sacred Heart Chapel and a luncheon in Sunken Garden.
“You must stop and look into the eyes of the people who serve you your lunch, clean the offices and residence halls, and cut the grass here and realize that they have hopes and dreams of their own – for themselves and their families,” said John Flaherty, associate director of Campus Ministry. “In many cases their needs are much more urgent than our own. Without this realization, the legacy of Cesar Chavez is incomplete.”
The son of migrant laborers, Chavez founded the United Farm Workers. Emphasizing nonviolence, he led a successful five-year boycott against California grape growers, protesting poor working conditions and the use of pesticides harmful to farm workers. In 1994 Chavez was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In keeping with Chavez’s deeply spiritual approach to life and work, the celebration begins with a service. The program will touch on aspects of his career and personality. David Sanchez, assistant professor of theology, will deliver the keynote, and the LMU Latin Dance Group and Ballet Folklorico de LMU will perform.
Chavez, a Mexican-American born in Arizona, was also concerned about the need to understand and celebrate all cultures. He once said, “We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.”
For more information about the Cesar Chavez Day events, contact Campus Ministry at 310.338.2860, or go to http://ministry.lmu.edu.